As we pledge our giving for next year, we know too well that the tragic needs of this year are still before us in many ways. Our November offering is dedicated to helping with the recovery of those whose very homes, whose family pictures and records, whose treasured mementos have gone forever in the flames. Many of these families have received emergency help, but now they are faced with longer-range objectives—rebuilding a home, possibly finding new work and new schools for children. It is here that our special offering can help those made homeless by this year’s unusually grim wildfires to stabilize and work toward those long-range solutions.
Though we can never replace such losses as families have suffered, we can offer our help as they make progress to again have a normal life. The agencies we have chosen to receive our offerings are Northwest agencies which are able to provide both emergency and long term assistance.
- Oregon Wildfire Relief and Recovery (Oregon Community Foundation)
- NCW Fire Relief Fund (Community Foundation of North Central Washington)
- the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) Wildfire Fund
People are waiting right now in emergency shelter for longer-range housing. Our help will make this possible for as many as our offering can stretch to cover.
For each of these families who have suffered from the wildfires, thank you for your giving!
In our own community…
We know that several members of our congregation have family who were affected. (We believe there may be others and if you wish to share this information, we would like to know.) Kathy Young’s family in Oregon was especially hard hit. Her sister, Linda Schaefers, lost her home in the Holiday Farm Fire up the MacKenzie River in Oregon. Susan Cook’s brother also was ordered to evacuate his home there, although fortunately he later found that the fire had stopped two miles away. Kathy’s niece, Molly Blackburn and her husband also lost his family home in the Santiam Canyon Fire near Detroit, Oregon.
Molly writes of the loss of the home built by her own parents, I imagine the heat and the gasses from the fire blasting the glass in the kitchen and dining room, allowing the fire to enter our home uninvited. The flames licking and searching for fuel. The furniture my dad built, my sister’s prom dresses, my childhood teddy “Crunchy”, fly rods, my Dad’s Purple Heart and the blood soaked letter from my Grandma he had in his pocket on the day he got shot in Vietnam…
But we have memories — some of which I’ve had family and friends remind me of — I’m so grateful for them.