Help for Paradise

By now, I’m sure you’ve all heard about the wildfires in California and about Paradise.

Image result for paradise fire
I recently got an email from a blog reader and charity supporter, Tina.  You might remember Tina as the blog reader who sent me goodies.  Read about that post here if you missed it.

Tina writes:I never thought that this would happen!

My home and all my charity quilts (quilts in progress and fabrics) have been destroyed in the Camp Fire.  I even had a few boxes of fabrics, books, and patterns ready to send to you, sitting in my basement.  They are gone!  I am so sad.  I can’t even express the depth of mental anguish. 

I have been sewing for 60 years.  I haven’t been without a sewing machine for all that time.  I feel naked and lost without being able to sew every day, and without any quilts to snuggle under.

I am mourning my library of sewing books, dvds,  vhs tapes, my longarm and sewing machines, fabrics i have been collecting for years and years, my projects, my grandmother’s handwritten sewing instructions, handmade gifts and sewing bags from my sewing friends,  my sisters scissors, tools and projects from my deceased friends,  so many items that can never be replaced.  Each day. I remember things that are gone and I start mourning again.

I am grateful that we survived this inferno that destroyed my home.

But no one is talking about the grieving, the sadness, the PTSD  from driving thru the flames and the overwhelming grief and despair from having no place to go and the loss of community. 

We are still trying to track down sewing friends not knowing if they are alive or dead.  631 still missing as of this morning. 

What to do next?  Forms to fill out.  Agencies to contact.  Where are we to go?  All my family lost their homes and are spread across the state.  Thanksgiving is next week and it won’t be spent with family and friends.

 Starting out all  over again is terrifying. We worked all our lives to build up for this retirement and now everything is gone and we don’t know where to go! 

Sewing is my comfort and joy.  Making for others stabilized me, and made me happy.  Sewing with friends was a special event. 

Finding a place to live is the first item on my agenda but my heart  wants to be sewing!I Please consider us as one of your new charities for quilt donations. 

I’d be happy to  help facilitate donations.  My hotel is filled with evacuees.

Don’t get me wrong, i am grateful to be alive with a roof over my head ( over 52,000 evacuees).  I am grateful to have the pictures you emailed me of your face receiving my donation boxes that i can look at.

Life is so overwhelming and exhausting right now.  I need to rebuild and have a plan.  Maybe you can help me with that by getting some quilts to these families.

Thanks for letting me ramble.

Well people.  That’s a call for help.  What can we do??

I have an address that we can send quilts to.  Tina will get the quilts and get them out to people ASAP.  Let’s wait to send sewing goodies until she has a more permanent place to stay.

I have three quilts here right now that I am boxing up to be sent out.  As time allows around here I’ll try to get a couple more on the frame and quilted.

Do you have any charity quilts you could spare?  This is worthy cause for sure!!

If you do, drop me an email and I’ll pass along the address to you.  I only had baby quilts here.  I’m hoping someone has lap or larger sized tops.  I did get an update from Tina.  She writes:
Just got sad news that 98 members of my local quilt guild lost their homes!  All those charity quilts, longarms, sew machines, and fabric lost.  At least we can thank God that all of us are alive!

Oh my what a blow.  This has to be super hard as most of the time, it would be sewing friends, helping sewing friends on a local basis but with so many without, they do truly need out help.

Here’s my email address. .  I’ll pass along Tina’s address if you have QUILTS ONLY that you can share with her.

15 thoughts on “Help for Paradise”

  1. This is definitely a worthy cause. Can’t even imagine, and how many of us think to document how much our stash is worth? Our machines, our quilts? There ought to be a program where we scan all of our receipts that we spend on fabric and more so we have a record online somewhere. Since I live in the panhandle of FLorida, my efforts are going to helping those affected by Hurricane Michael. Their plight has been lost to the media but it is just as bad as the fires in California. So Pillows and pillowcases going to help today.

  2. Please post again when people are able to receive supplies. I’ll be glad to share from my stash to help others rebuild and get sewing/quilting again.

  3. Please send this lady some basic hand sewing supplies ASAP. A small kit to make something that will satisfy her need for connecting fabric with thread. Agree with not burdening these people with a ton of things that have to be moved – esp since many no longer have their own transportation.

  4. It just fills me with sadness to hear of the loss of ones home much less a whole community. I will have to see what I can get finished and get ready to help.

  5. Jo,
    This fire reminds me of the one that almost destroyed the city of Fort McMurray in Alberta,Canada (you may have heard about it) a few years ago. We made a lot of quilts for those families. They really appreciated them. Some people still don’t have a place to live up there.
    It would be a wonderful gesture from your group.
    Karen Hough ( Edmonton, Alberta, Canada)

  6. Nothing ready quite yet, but once a wedding quilt is done, I’m on it. Thanks for passing the word. And I do think it might be worth asking her if she and some of her sewing companions would enjoy small packages of handwork so they have some sort of relaxing stitching during this stressful time. I suspect a number of us could put together some EPP or applique project kits for them that aren’t too big.

  7. Hi Jo, I am making a trip to Chico and already have a call out for quilts and supplies. I personally will be bringing quilts and want to distribute them to people, not just drop them off at a quilt shop for them to pass out.
    I’d love to have Tina’s email address so I can be in contact with her when I arrive in a couple of weeks, The entire situation is heartbreaking.

  8. I just can’t even imagine a fire destroying a whole town, of everything you’ve worked for your whole life just being gone. With nowhere to go. Of your whole family’s homes being destroyed as well. Maybe having all your important & identifying papers being destroyed and not being able to prove who you are. It would make filling out all those forms & claims so much harder. Insurance & FEMA are slow anyway. Here in NE we fear tornadoes, but even the worst one doesn’t leave that much destruction. We can be thankful for that. I’ll see what I can do about getting a couple quilts to send.

  9. I have been wondering where I can send some donations for Paradise (I live an hour away). I don’t have any finished quilts to donate, but I do have tops, all of them are twin or larger. If you have someone I can send these tops to to get quilted, then she can send them on to Tiny.

  10. I am in the San Francisco Bay Area of California last year Northern California part of Santa Rosa burned leaving neighborhoods stores a hospital gone now this year the town of Paradise has burned down and it is terrible. We only had air quality smokey unhealthy air to breathe.
    It’s just so hard to think of everything gone. There also is the horror of the large number of lives lost and so many people unaccounted for still.
    We are getting rain a blessing and also a new problem as many people have been living in cars and in tent like areas that are not waterproof. Mud runoff can be a problem also.

  11. I would like to send Tina a quilt or two. My guild is going to put them together. I just need an address to send them to. Thank you so much!

  12. I’ve got 3 single bed size washed, boxed and ready to mail. Tried to email Saturday but must have gotten blocked. Hope to hear from you..

  13. Pingback: Ask Jo: The Seasons of Life | Jo's Country Junction

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