Monday, November 26, 2018

Amazing people rising up in the midst of disaster!


Hi, all. Dana Mentink here, LIS author and California gal. California... the lovely golden state, my home for all of my life...has had a rough start to the holiday season. Wildfires have swept over the state, both north and south. Here in Northern, CA, the Camp Fire has finally been contained with a death toll of 85 at last count and more than 13,000 homes lost. It is not overstating the point to say that the entire community of Paradise was razed to the ground. It was catastrophic, and families will be devastated for a long time to come. So why do I bring it up? Because Papa Mentink (ret. Fire Marshal) always says that catastrophes bring out the best and worst in people. I thought the Thanksgiving season would be a great time to point out a few of the ways we’ve seen people “loving their neighbors” here in the heart of the disaster.

1. East Avenue Church in Chico became a shelter for those fleeing the fire. Some of the first arrivals who had medical training stepped up to create a makeshift medical center right there in the church. A motorcycle club also answered the call to provide security for the hundreds of people sheltering at the church. (They were having some difficulties with transients posing as evacuees, bringing drugs and violence into the shelter.)

2. The all volunteer team of El Dorado County Search and Rescue donated countless hours to comb through destroyed homes, knowing their findings will most likely be tragic, but dedicated to helping families find closure. These folks pay for their own gear, sleep on high school gym floors, and take time away from their own families and businesses to help and they will never see a dime for their efforts.

3. A California man named Dan Sauvageau heard his friends had evacuated without being able to get their animals out, so he drove 90 miles to rescue their pets which included a donkey, mastiff, three goats and a cat. Then he went on to rescue 17 other animals in the area and took them to a makeshift shelter at the Chico airport.

Of course there are dozens of organized groups doing amazing work to provide disaster support, but I am particularly touched by the stories of regular people, rising up to help their neighbors just as God commanded us to. Doesn’t that just touch your heart?

Dana’s latest seriesGold Country Cowboys series

7 comments:

  1. The wildfires have been tragic, Dana, but it is heartwarming to see so many people giving of their time and money to help those in need. Thank you for sharing this.

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  2. Hi, Dana. What a powerful post. The fires in California have been so devastating! Two and a half years ago I visited California for the first time (for the RWA conference in San Diego) and fell in love with it. It's so hard to imagine that type of destruction happening there. I am in awe of the firefighters and humans helping other humans, just as God commanded us to. Blessings.

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  3. Thanks, Dana, for sharing. I grew up in Biloxi and I saw it when hurricanes struck.

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  4. I cannot begin to fathom the devastation from the California fires. Dana, thank you for offering this tribute to ordinary people doing whatever they can to help when tragedy strikes.

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  5. Dana,praying for you all and all those who went through those awful fires. It touched my heart to hear about the man that drove 90 miles to rescue the pets and risk his life. Wow! It is times like those, even though terrible, that really bring out the good in others.

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  6. This is so sad and tragic. I’ve prayed for California and I’m glad you posted this, Dana. God Bless all of you!!!

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  7. My heart goes out to all those effected by the fires. It’s so nice to hear of good coming out of the awful.

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