ACNA Anglicans Respond to the Camp Fire Relief Effort
“Thank you, one and all. And thanks be to God!”
This week’s blog was submitted by the Sacramento Valley Deanery, Christ for the Sake of Others.
The Camp Fire started on November 8, 2018, in Paradise, California. It was not contained until November 25. It took 11 crews, 1,065 fire personnel (not including support staff!) and 73 fire engines to put it out. Among all California wildfires, it is ranked 16th for the amount of area burned, at 153,336 acres; and ranked 1st in structures lost – 18,804 burned with 13,000 of those being homes. It is also ranked 1st in loss of life, 86 people in total.
In the days and weeks following the start of the fire, people across the country saw the news reports of unimaginable devastation and loss of life in Paradise, and were moved to help. The Diocese of C4SO, which includes California, called upon the leadership of the Sacramento Valley Deanery to serve as local liaison to the relief effort. Eventually, the deanery was asked to represent the ACNA as a whole as donations from generous Anglicans across the province poured into ARDF.
After assessing the vast relief efforts that were underway in the region, we decided to give the first of the donations to the Hope Center, in Oroville, on Christmas Eve day, December 24, 2018. Fr. Victor Schreffler, Dean of SVD and Rector of Trinity Anglican Church, in Marysville; along with administrative assistant Lori Carpenter and Deacon Nancy Mowry, drove the 27 miles from Marysville to Oroville to deliver a check to the Hope Center, a local ministry uniquely situated to directly help those impacted by the fire in nearby Paradise.
Many years ago, Larry and Stephanie Hayden started Hope Center. The genesis was actually when one day Larry decided to take an extra sandwich with him, with plans to give it to someone in need. That small action led to a food bank out of their home. The ministry soon grew to a warehouse and food kitchen. Before the Camp Fire they had four employees and a few volunteers, but during the fire they quickly grew to managing over 800 volunteers a day, and found themselves needing more room to store all the donations they were receiving. Many relief centers had begun to turn donations away, because they had no more room to store them. The Hope Center, however, rented three more warehouses in order to expand their space so they could continue to receive and give away the supplies that were so desperately needed by the displaced people of Butte County.
In support of this massive undertaking, on January 19, Lori and Deacon Nancy again made the trip to deliver another substantial check to the Hope Center, this time at one of their expanded locations. Overall, what began locally and grew into a provincial effort brought in a total of $15, 937 to the Hope Center.
The Hope Center depends upon volunteer help, but cash donations are needed to provide for the expense of operating the industrial equipment they use, as well as rent for the warehouses. The money raised and donated by C4SO, and the ACNA through ARDF, is being used for the rebuilding process – specifically for needed materials – and to feed and house volunteers. It’s a huge task that awaits, and we have seen that Hope Center will continue to have an important part in helping this process move forward. We are thankful for their heart and hard work, and are blessed to be able to help them care for those displaced by the fire as they begin the daunting renewal process in Paradise.
As monetary donations have continued to pour into ARDF for this purpose, Dcn. Nancy had the great privilege of delivering two more generous checks on March 9 to other organizations responsible for directly serving the victims of the Camp Fire. A check for $8,000 dollars was gratefully received by the Salvation Army, Oro Division; and another for $5,000 was presented to the California Fire Foundation. All-in-all, $28, 937 was raised by caring Anglicans for people who desperately need to see the goodness of God at work in rebuilding their broken lives.
Thank you, one and all. And thanks be to God!