The Old Lady Who Drove Alone

National Headquarters  | March 13, 2019
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Article/Photo by 張今寶 (虑斌)

As the town of Paradise was evacuated following the Camp Fire, many elderly people, especially in their 80’s and 90’s, drove themselves out of harm’s way. Sandra, also known as Granny Sandra, an 84-year-young woman, is one such person.

On the day of the Camp Fire, Granny Sandra’s daughter who lives in Chico was too far away to assist her mother. Frightened but strong– Granny Sandra drove alone amongst heavy traffic and burning flames for four hours until she reached safe grounds.

Granny Sandra was very grateful and had heartfelt appreciation for the considerate and quick assistance that Tzu Chi volunteers provided for her shortly after.

On the morning of Dec. 7, Granny Sandra accompanied by her daughter applied for the emergency cash relief at the Tzu Chi station at the Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) in Chico. Having received information about Tzu Chi’s emergency services from a friend the day before, she immediately seeked aid the following day. Granny Sandra received a cash card worth $500 from Tzu Chi within a short period of time thanks to the diligent work of Tzu Chi volunteers.

Although Granny Sandra’s home in Paradise was totally destroyed, she will be able to go back to assess the situation within the following week. Tzu Chi volunteers made a promise to accompany her to help assess the situation of her destroyed home and the rest of the community.

This inspired Tzu Chi volunteers to use this opportunity to think about how to continuously assist and care for residents affected by the disaster.

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