The sun rose red this morning, filtering through dense smoke from wildfires burning across California. My area is safe (so far), but the sky is thicker with smoke today than I have experienced before.
Just after sunrise, I ventured out briefly to walk the dog. We walked down to a county park, and as I watched the sun rise, I was struck (again) by all the dry brush surrounding me. This is the stuff of nightmares.
For too many across California, the nightmare is real. The latest numbers of staggering.
- Major fires across the state: 22
- Acres burned: 170,000
- Homes and businesses destroyed: 3,500 so far
- Lives lost: at least 21, with hundreds more missing (and that’s just the human toll)
There are ways you can help, no matter where you live. I’ll remind you of my favorites:
- UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief). The link I’ve provided goes directly to UMCOR’s US Disaster Response Fund, Advance #901670, 100% of which goes to victims of these wildfires and recent hurricanes. You may also want to follow their updates on Facebook.
- The Red Cross (there’s a drop-down menu where you can select where you want your money to go).
Runners helping runners
I’m part of a virtual running community through Oiselle. This morning, Devon Yanko, one of Oiselle’s elite runners in Northern California sent out this message to those of us who live here. She kindly allowed me to share her message with you, too:
As you know fires are ravaging Northern California and so many people have lost everything. Like you, I feel like I want to do more for the victims of the fires. I know that in the hardest time running has always been an outlet, a way of processing, a way through. I also know that for people who have lost everything, replacing running clothes is not a priority. That is why I am calling for donations of new or used RUNNING clothes that can be taken directly to runners in need. I know that I always have a few more running clothes than I need and thought maybe you guys might too.
If you have running clothes you are willing to donate please mail or drop them off to our friends at San Francisco Running Company: 115 Tunstead Ave, San Anselmo, CA 94960. If you are mailing them, please indicate they are c/o Napa/Sonoma runner fire relief.
If you or someone you know is a victim of one of these disasters, please email me so that I can get your sizes and get you some clothing!
All my best,
Runners—I know you can’t all make it out to San Francisco to drop off donations, but maybe there are a few things you could mail to San Francisco Running Company? That pair of shoes you wore a couple of times but stopped using because they didn’t feel quite right. Those socks your aunt gave you that aren’t the right size. The race shirts you never wear because you have so many others. The impulse buy at the race expo now just taking up space in your dresser.
Please pray, too
As a country, we’ve had a lot too much to pray about of late. But would you please add California into your prayers? Please pray for the winds to die down. Please pray for rain. Please pray for the evacuees. Please pray for those who have lost everything. And please, please pray for the heroes fighting these fires and trying to protect us.