Photo: Ventura County Fire PIO
*Update 1/12/18: After what became the largest wildfire in California history, heavy rains caused devastating mudslides in Santa Barbara County. Currently 17 dead and 8 missing. Please continue to support and keep us in your prayers! Love, aloha and God bless!*
Aloha, it is with a heavy heart that I write this as my beautiful city of Ventura is on fire! Even during this tragic time, it has been so amazing to see our amazing community pull together! So many people have stepped up to volunteer, donate, offer meals & housing, not to mention all the first responders who have worked tirelessly to get this fire out!
My building underwent emergency evacuation on Monday night and when I finally drove off with a car full of "valuables" I thought for sure I would wake up the next morning without a home. By the grace of God, my building survived, but houses on the street immediately behind burned to the ground. Even if I am still under emergency evacuation and unable to go back home yet, I at least have a home to return to, while as of now, five personal friends of mine have lost everything.
In light of this, I have decided to use my site as a platform to be able to help those friends by linking their fundraising pages below. They are 100% legit and I can vouch for all of them. I encourage you all, if you have the resources, to please donate to any of those links or even to any of the other charities who have legitimately been aiding fire victims!
Thank you all for your prayers and all your calls, texts, emails, food & housing, and a special shout out to my Harvest Ventura & BeachSide CrossFit families, stepping up big time while all my immediate family is on the east coast ... I am truly blessed beyond words and I love you all!
Additionally, my home church Harvest Ventura is donating 100% of financial giving for the month of December to aid victims of the Thomas Fire! Link to donate here.
Finally, my home gym BeachSide CrossFit is donating 100% of proceeds from our annual BeachSide Beatdown charity competition to fire victims. Saturday 1/20/18. Link to come throw down, spectate or just chip in here.
"The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. 'The Lord is my portion,' says my soul, 'therefore I will hope in Him.'" Lamentations 3:22-24
Photo: Dacia Hayslip
The cross at Grant Park still standing, symbolic of the unwavering hope we have in Christ as a beacon of hope and light. So thankful for this reminder during this time! May it encourage you as well! And please keep your prayers coming as this fire is only 5% contained at this time!
For more info on the Thomas Fire go to http://readyventuracounty.org