The Camp Fire began November 8 and burned through more than 153,000 acres in Butte County. It was contained November 25, only after becoming the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California state history.
While the wildfire has been officially contained, 153,336 acres of land were scorched to the ground, taking 13,972 residences, 4,821 structures, and 88 lives. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke anticipates repairs for impacted communities to likely be in the billions.
In order to assist in rebuilding the lives and the futures of these impacted communities, Tzu Chi USA launched the Hope Heals mission in late November, which aims to lift the hearts of 10,000 families who were impacted by the Camp Fire through the help of 10,000 donors. Contributions directly fund our on-site relief missions in California and permit our volunteers to provide the critical financial aid, emotional support, and spiritual guidance that is desperately needed.
From Nov 9th up to Dec 27th, the Hope Heals mission, with a group of 1,698 Tzu Chi Relief volunteers, provided on-site emergency relief aid to 18,739 beneficiaries living in Paradise, Magalia, Yankee Hill, and Concow in Butte County, California. They gave 7,905 cash cards, totaling $4,258,050 in emergency monetary aid. 1,963 bamboos banks and 1,746 scarves and 4,879 eco-blankets made from recycled plastic bottles were also distributed to warm the hearts of survivors during this difficult time.
Universal love and compassion were also expressed through the power of song. Paradise musician Steve “Skip” Culton collaborated with Tzu Chi USA to produce the wildfire’s unofficial anthem, “Another Prayer for Paradise”. After meeting the talented artist during a relief mission in Butte County in early November, the Tzu Chi team knew it was the fate for Culton’s skillset and our universal compassion to work united as one to heal the wounds of Camp Fire survivors.
The song is currently trending at 68K views and is available on iTunes, Google Play, Amazon, Spotify and Pandora. All proceeds from the purchase of Culton’s single will directly help the Skip Culton Project provide aid to Camp Fire survivors and other musicians.
There is much work still to be done, and these communities need your immediate support to aid their recovery. When you share your love, lives will be transformed and a difference will be made. Help us to heal with the power of hope.