Dear friends,

Road in Paradise, fire damage from the Camp Fire

The Camp Fire in Butte County burned over 240 square-miles. For reference, the city of Chicago is 234 square-miles. This unprecedented wild fire destroyed 14,468 structures, including 13,954 homes. There have been 84 confirmed lives lost with 605 people still missing.

The entire town of Paradise, and additional small towns in the area, now lives in and around Chico in various shelters, tents and in the homes of friends. There are about 52,000 people who have been displaced. The housing vacancy rate in Chico was only about 2%, which means there is a drastic housing shortage and it will be difficult for the county to absorb the number of people displaced.

Most people have lost their homes, pets, and belongings having had just enough time to jump in their cars with their clothes on their backs. Many people have lost loved ones or are waiting in hopes of hearing from a loved one that remains missing. During the weeks of the fire, smoke and feelings of deep sadness settled over the whole area. The week after the fire started Chico had the most hazardous in the world. And yet, our community ventured out to volunteer and help one another. The mix of despair and resilience in every story is a heavy weight to bear for our community.

This is NOT A SHORT-TERM TRAGEDY. Many of these people will never have a home to return to and must move forward in whatever way possible.

Tender Loving has and will continue to donate brewed coffee to those who have been displaced—who have lost nearly everything. We partnered with World Central Kitchen to donate coffee daily to volunteers and evacuees in shelters, post office lines, and the FEMA center. On Thanksgiving we provided over 80 lbs of coffee to accompany the amazing meals provided by World Central Kitchen. As we all know a good warm cup of coffee can bring a brief bit of comfort and joy.

In December, Image of RISE coffee bag art. Includes an illustration of CA with a heart near Butte County.we will launch our RISE blend, part of our Coffee for Campfire Relief efforts. All profits from this blend will go to Camp Fire Relief. Tender Loving could use your help in continuing to serve our community.

If you spent an afternoon in the Tender Loving shop listening to all the heartbreaking stories of loss, resilience and compassion you would be both heartbroken and inspired. We’ve set up a relief fund to benefit our community, our employees and our partners. One of our owners, Heath Dewey, was formerly a director of a non-profit and is experienced in managing and distributing donated funds. We have also created an advisory board to help allocate funds. We will get your generously donated dollars where they can directly benefit those in need.

 How to Help:

Donations will help us continue to provide service to the people of Butte County. We have a donation portal through our partner, The Golden Valley Bank Foundation. Please donate if you can.

Also, if you have gift cards or other useful materials you would like to send we are happy to collect and distribute them.

We know it’s hard to watch tragedy from afar, and it’s doubly hard to be on the ground wishing we could do more. Thank you for supporting our community and helping give us a chance to make a difference in lives of all those impacted by this terrible crisis.

With gratitude,

Heath Dewey & Eric Fairchild

 

Stats by Cal Fire, Nov. 24, 2018 | Photo by Mike Baca