Terry and Sandy Borden of McCloud, with help from the community, are helping fire victims in the Santa Rosa area.
“I put the word out on Facebook on Monday and now, three days later, we are heading down to the Santa Rosa area to help and distribute these donations,” Terry said Wednesday evening. “We are bringing everything down in a donated U-Haul trailer from Reese Sarti in Mount Shasta.”
They packed the U-Haul in no time with the help of Jeane Graves Mitchell, Tony Kydd, Rosa, Sarah and Nathaniel Mero and Priscilla Wood.
The Bordens then left first thing Thursday morning for however long they are needed.
They have gotten sponsors and donations. Toiletries were purchased at stores like Dollar Store and Costco in Redding. Sandy shows a receipt from Dollar Store that is 20 feet long.
Both of the Bordens have family and friends in Santa Rosa and Healdsburg who were being evacuated. “All of those homes that are being destroyed were homes that I spent my childhood in,” said Sandy. “Same with my husband. We have to help our friends and family that have lost everything in the Santa Rosa fires.”
As of Friday morning Oct. 13, according to CAL FIRE, thousands of firefighters were battling 17 wildfires that had burned nearly 222,000 acres in California, most of them north of San Francisco. The death toll had risen to 31 with an estimated 3,500 homes and other structures destroyed. Governor Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency for Solano, Napa, Sonoma, Yuba, Butte, Lake, Mendocino, Nevada and Orange counties due to the effects of the devastating fires.
Jeane Graves Mitchell said, “I can not afford to donate anything and I want to help so I am donating my time.”
Nathaniel Mero, age 11, said, “I am helping because others would do this for my family if this happened to us.”
Priscilla Wood has neighbors who have a house in Santa Rosa that burned down. “There are a lot of ties in McCloud to the Santa Rosa area,” she said.
Siskiyou Brew Works in McCloud has been a drop off site for donations. The McCloud Market and Amber DeBon has donated $250 in gift cards and plastic bags. The McCloud Outdoor Store has helped as well. Crystal Geyser has donated many gallons of drinking water for the Bordens to bring to the victims.
As they pack up the U-Haul, they share stories of people they know and how they are dealing with the fires. No clean water, power lines and cell towers are down, some with nothing but the clothes on their backs. Many animals have been displaced from their owners.
“We are doing this on our own so we can get this out to the people who need it,” said Sandy. “We received donations from sponsors and from people who have been through exactly this.”
They were taking sacks of dog and cat food, packs of underwear, bags of soap, toothpaste, shampoo, etc. They had many bags filled with towels, bedding, blankets, clothes, diapers and dry food products that were purchased or donated.
When Jeane Graves Mitchell thanked the Bordens for all they are doing, Terry said, “We are just the vessel. Our community is the ones that have stepped up the to plate to make this happen.”
To make donations to the fire victims go to PayPal and use firstname.lastname@example.org or use @Tami-Ross on Venmo.