Wow, I’ve just spent some time prepping for our Fire Relief Committee. We knew gifts were coming in from all over the country and from some countries around the world. Thanks to the New York Times article, “An American Dream, Scorched in Oregon” and to the many groups like the Oregon Shakespeare Festival who shared our donation link, we have received gifts from 44 states and 5 countries!
I am overwhelmed each day by the notes of support, the calls to see how we are, the stories of those directly impacted and the generosity of people sharing their wit, wisdom and wealth. On Monday and Tuesday, I spent the day at Harry and David giving away Skechers and Hanes donations. People would cry at the drop of a hat, well literally, the drop of a McDonald’s card or a listening ear and heart. I met Bobbie Sue who was still wearing her house slippers because that’s what she ran from her mobile home in; Pam who is brain injured and struggling with FEMA paperwork; and, Oscar’s little girl who got a groovy new backpack from Skechers. While the best part of my job has always been hearing stories, the stories are hard. I heard many times how weird it is to adjust to losing everything. A woman shared she was chilly in her apartment and went to get her… She stopped and realized she can’t go get anything she used to go get. I cried then. I can’t get her out of mind and that is good. We have much to do and there’s a place for all of us in this recovery. Find your spot and do it. Please consider at gift to our fire fund at www.unitedwayofjacksoncounty.org/give. Thank you! Onward, Dee Anne