We have always held to the hope, the belief, the conviction that there is a better life, a better world, beyond the horizon. Franklin D. Roosevelt
From the Buddhist perspective hope is the cause of great suffering, but I am an Enneagram Seven and I live in hope. (My husband‘s grandfather used to say “live in hope, die in despair”. He was an Irish Catholic not a Buddhist but I could never go along with him.)
For many of my friends, fellow townspeople, and residents of neighboring villages – now is a time of desperation. Read here The loss of homes, possessions, concrete evidence of memories, animals, is devastating, Especially in the time of Covid-19. It is hard to imagine our valley coming up with housing for all the dispossessed.
Some middle class and upscale homes were destroyed but many lost residences were in sweet communities of established mobile home parks, low income apartments, and neighborhoods of people who were the hard-working warriors of this pandemic.
Will the owners of these larger parcels sell out to developers who will create high-end subdivisions along the creek? I hope our city and county governments can see beyond profits and preserve affordable living space. If you live here be vocal with your City Councils and county politicians.
And help a neighbor. Mentor a family and help them rebuild their lives. Look at the gofundme.com. Not every gift has to be tax deductible, some are necessary just because …
Here are some people who can use the help:
And a list of some more of the underfunded Go-Fund-Me people: https://docs.google.com/document/d/11ugHQgi6s0XkcRy8i6Ak8C_jniaCeJmqguAg1cGnRac/mobilebasic?fbclid=IwAR2SEo1GanI9eVmud_St84BIVZ9arDz5tmcLJOdasPP6gAkvY2vPdXN4-N8
And a list of the funds in the valley that are doing necessary relief and long-term help:
The United Way of Jackson County and Rogue Credit Union. They are local organizations with impeccable track records. They’ve done this before. They don’t take a cut of the money and even supplement the funds. They are also quick to get the money back out to those who need it to survive. Your dollars go farther with smaller and more local groups. United Way: http://www.unitedwayofjacksoncounty.org/give/
Rogue Credit Union: https://www.roguecu.org/community/donate
Phoenix-Talent School District estimates that 50% of their families have lost their homes, and Phoenix Elementary School is placing that number closer to 80%. If you would like to contribute to a fund to help the families from Phoenix-Talent School District, send a physical check to: Phoenix Talent Fire Relief Fund, PO Box 937, Medford, OR 97501 (Please make checks payable to: Jackson County School District #4). Or you can send a donation via PayPal @AllanaDrossos, or Venmo @Allana-Drossos, and put “Phoenix Talent Fire Relief Fund” as the subject. 100% of these funds will go directly to the families.
The MRG Foundation has started The Rogue Valley Relief Fund. This Fund is administered by a steering committee of organizations and grassroots groups based in the Rogue Valley that are already working to respond to the fires, including Rogue Action Center, Rogue Climate, SOHealthy, SO Equity, and Siskiyou Rising Tide. The Fund has been seeded with a $10,000 initial investment from MRG and has a goal of raising $500,000 over the next six months. The money will go directly to help people most impacted by these fires in the Rogue Valley. In the short term, it will go to those who have been displaced by fires. In the long term, it will support people who have lost their homes, prioritizing those who have the least access to aid. To donate to the Fund, go here: https://www.mrgfoundation.org/donate-to-rogue-valley-relief-fund/
Southern Oregon Education Service District is another highly reputable local organization that has been serving our community for years. They are tied into the migrant community and can get aid to them quickly and efficiently. You will have to write them a physical check as they don’t have an online donation site yet. Checks can be made out to SOESD Migrant Education. Mail them to 487 Rock St., Ashland, OR 97520.
SOEquity is a local activist group working for racial justice in our valley. They have started a fire fund. They are working with other local groups committed to serving our Black, indigenous, and communities of color. Any funds they raised will be used to directly support these organizations and communities. Donate to them here: https://www.soequity.org/fire-relief
Unete Center for Farm Worker Advocacy has also started a fire fund. Unete has been hard at work supporting our farm worker and immigrant communities for years. They are another upstanding local group that does not take a cut of the money. They pass it directly on to those in need. http://uneteoregon.org/