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Wine Country Strong from Redwood Valley, CA

Redwood-Valley-California-fires

‘Is your family ok??‘ is a never a good text to wake up to from a friend at 7 am. Especially when you have no idea what is going on as you’re thousands of miles and three states away.

As my eyes adjusted to the iphone light with Charlotte asleep in my arms, I noticed the 4 am text from my mom last Monday.

‘R u up? RV on fire.’

I immediately called to hear the sound of my mom’s frantic voice with my dad in the background packing up their two cars with photos, valuables they could grab, and a few clothes. They said everything was ‘ok for now,’ but others from the valley had to rush much faster just a few miles away on West Road and up Tomki Road. They were hearing many homes burned. Luckily, their property and house was okay and of course, now you know the fires that have devastated Northern California.

My parents had been called by a neighbor (a field over) around 1 am last Monday. The neighbor, a mother of 5 young children, was screaming that Redwood Valley was on fire and they all had to leave NOW! This small community (called ‘close knit’ and a ‘village’ by national media outlets in stories over the weekend) is where I grew up in Mendocino County. It will never be the same as the terrifying stories are now being told by the national media like the Wall Street Journal and Daily Mail reporting the tragic death toll in RV.

Families in RV have lost everything –  and especially in the hard hit Santa Rosa and Sonoma County. The air quality has been effected all over N. California the past week. The scene last Tuesday (above) near my parents house above shows how thick the smoke has been at times with ash all over the ground.

Mendocino County is made up of small towns like Willits, Redwood Valley (population: approx 2,000) and Potter Valley with families and friends who have been there for generations and yes, ‘everyone knows each other’ and wants to help each other. It is an eerie feeling to have your Facebook feed one GoFund me after another for a different family in the community who lost everything in the fires last week.

If you’re looking to help or how to get news locally, I have a go-to list in Mendocino County of ‘who’ to follow for local info, campaigns specifically giving back to Redwood Valley, plus how to be notified immediately if there are future fires or disasters in Mendocino County.

1. The Mendocino County Sheriff is your new BFF – Sheriff Tom Allman and his team (via his homepage, Facebook and twitter @MendoSheriff) have been keeping the community up to speed the past week. Sign up for the Mendocino County Emergency Alert System here asap! You can get alerts about any fire news and in the future via your cell phone and email.

2. Follow In-the-Know Locals – There were so many rumors as families and friends were frantically checking in with each other. It was not always easy to get the facts as it seemed Mendocino County was off the Bay Area media radar the first few days. Make sure you’re getting trusted local info. Nikki Pardini Real Estate in Ukiah has consistently posted helpful info/links on her Facebook page for everyone in Mendocino County and for fire victims who lost everything including how to apply to the NCO (North Coast Opportunities Relief Fund)

3. T-Shirts for a Cause Designed in Redwood Valley – Local friends and sisters who are part of Testa Vineyards in Calpella, CA have created a Nor Cal Strong T-Shirt designs Giving 100% of this line to Nor Cal Fire Victims. SHOP THE LINE HERE

4. Where to Donate – There are so many families in need – please share and spread the word or post below if you have a family or friend with a Go-Fund-Me, YouCaring, or Generosity.com fund . If you’re looking to donate to Mendocino County, there are a couple larger organizations helping locally are the Redwood Credit Union Community Fund and the Community Foundation of Mendocino County.

*** Here is more info about how Go Fund Me works and how to know if a page is legit. There is also a Change.org campaign you can sign here to try and stop Go Fund Me from taking its 5% fee from the money raised for fire victims.

wine-country-Savvy-Sleepers-photos

5. Savvy Sleepers Giving Back – My small business, Savvy Sleepers satin pillowcases for hair, skin and lashes is donating $10 from every pillowcase through Oct. 25th (extended now through Nov. 4th 2017) from our ‘Wine Country Collection‘ to victims of Nor Cal fires. This entire collection was inspired by the vineyards in my home town of Redwood Valley.

<I will update this post as I learn more info, benefits or events happening in Mendocino County. If you have helpful links or local websites for families in need, please feel free to post in the comments. #WineCountryStrong >

~xo,

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4 Comments

Comments

  1. Oh Dale! I didn’t know your parents were affected. I’m glad they got out and are doing ok. I kept hearing about it on the news and seeing the devastating pictures. So many were impacted. Thanks for posting how we can give back!
    http://www.averysweetblog.com/

  2. Wow Dale, I wondered if the area was where you were from… how sad for so many families to lose everything. Fires are so devastating, I do pray and hope that the people will be able to rebuild their lives. I was going to give my daughter one of my Savvy pillow cases but I think I will just purchase a new one for her so that a little bit can be donated. I love those pillow cases xox

    I am very glad to hear your family is safe xox

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