Sonoma County wildfire survivors and their families gathered to raise funds for the SEIU State Council Wildfire Relief Fund at the Santa Rosa union hall on on December 9. At the fundraiser, members shared their stories of struggle and heroism, among them were Amy Marlar and her daughter Logyn.
On October 9, Amy and her daughter Logyn were evacuated from their home in Coffey Park— one of the most ravaged neighborhoods in Santa Rosa.
“It was really hard to see my house burned to the ground. It was the worst thing to happen to my family and me. But I saw the best of our community as they came together in unimaginable ways to support fire survivors,” said Amy, who works at the Sonoma County Health and Human Service Department.
On October 10, Don Dean and his wife were evacuated from a fire zone and later lost their home during the Sonoma County Wildfires.
“After we safety evacuated to a family member’s home, I woke up as soon as it became daylight to assess the damage. I could not believe that my whole neighborhood was gone as far I could see,” said Don Dean, an In-take specialist for the DUI program in Sonoma County. “It was very overwhelming. As we were coping with the tragedy, I felt I had to do something.”
Don decided to help at one of the evacuee locations at the Grace Pavilion at the Sonoma County Fair Grounds that was full of wildfire survivors needing help.
“Helping people helped me to ground myself. I appreciated that my wife, dog and I were in a safe place with our in-laws. I saw lots of people with families, kids and pets that had no other place to go. While I was working at the donation receiving area, I saw the community come together. I saw people from all over the Bay Area coming in with pallets of water, food and dog food to help survivors. It was pretty amazing,” said Dean