Fire refugee update — what you can do to help

I noticed where this newspaper and its website plumasnews.com showed vivid photos of the now burned Rock House in Concow on Highway 70. Today, I spoke with the owner of the Rock House, Karen MacGowan, who assured me that she and her husband are doing OK. But she and many other people in Concow need help.

They are not getting much attention from FEMA, which means that we citizens are more free to provide direct help. There is a private refugee relief aid distribution center being set up in a private home in Concow, which survived the fire. Karen said that she is OK to act as a contact for persons wanting to donate to this new Concow distribution center. Her cell number is 805-512-0763.

The folks in Concow need many items to clean up their properties and restore basic services to their lives. Any type of hand or small power tool is most useful, plus items like wheelbarrows, generators, extension cords, etc. This is a chance for us to get rid of all of our old, but useful tools and supplies. And it is a chance for us to donate directly to those persons most affected by the Camp Fire.

On a personal note, I received the message below from someone who visited Miracle City in Chico during its final days of operation. When I was caught up in the incredible energy of operating Miracle City, there was no free moment for me to reflect on the immense benefits we were bringing to these people whose lives had been ripped apart by this great tragedy. Everything was focused on the immediate work at hand.

But now, this simple message from someone who visited and experienced what we did has brought me to tears. It is the greatest reward I could ever receive for this effort to save live, and the life within those lives.

“On November 20th, after our mission in Oroville, we were able to catch up with Ken at his evacuee help center in Chico, only to find out that he was having to close and transition handing off to FEMA. It was emotionally difficult for him, but he was such a person that the main concern was to ensure a smooth transition. He grew up in the area and knew everyone and was known by them.

“All the volunteers had such harmonious energy and compassion, many were young people, very courteous and giving. His communications and work was the first focused and energetic rescue emergency work I came across in the Camp Fire effort and that which I was used to working with in my experience. It was a breath of fresh air. Everyone worked in coordination, or we can say, in one spirit. They had the inspiration and it came to life in such harmony.

“Please also remember and support him.

“May God bless you with strength of heart.”

Abbess Isihia

Russian Convent

of Our Lady of Vladimir

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