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ב"ה

Update

St. Helena for Paradise!

Haven't posted an update in a long while .. it's been busy. So many cars given but sadly, hundreds more in desperate need! It's time to spread some incredible goodness & kindness!!

Over the past few weeks we have been privileged to work with the amazing community of St. Helena. 

Working together, they raised the funds to donate 4 vehicles and 3 motor homes for Camp Fire survivors!! 
This special community made all the necessary arrangements to drive all 7 vehicles up to Chico (yes, that's a full day of driving for each of them!) and delivered them all with such joy! 
Each individual is a world - So many worlds changed for the better through their efforts!!
 
 

Looking fwd to working together!

 Had a great meeting today with an incredible couple all the way from St. Helena who are spearheading an amazing fundraising project within their community to help get more vehicles for fire survivors in need. Always inspiring to see so many people getting involved from afar in any way they can, making a huge difference in people's lives.IMG_1961 (1).jpeg

40th Car!!!

Today is quite a milestone day. Today the 40th vehicle was gifted!!

Thanks to all the caring and generous car donors, this project went from a small dream to a reality. 

We feel so grateful and humbled to be a part of something that is helping people in such a significant way, giving them the gift of independence. 

Sadly, our work is far from finished. There are still too many people waiting. We are very thankful to the North Valley Community Foundation for awarding us with a grant to hire an administrative assistant so we can continue working on and expanding this project!

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I'm becoming an expert on car models :)

Well, it's been just over a month since we started the Car Donation Program and i feel like i've become an expert on cars and can suddenly name almost every make and model out there. 
On a more serious note, I'm reflecting on how many beautiful people we have had the good fortune of meeting.  

We're holding at car #26! (and have a couple more vehicles lined up for next week)

Yes, that means we have met 26 amazingly generous couples and 26 equally amazing survivor families!

From each one, I have learned so many lessons in gratitude, humility, faith, generosity and so much more. 

So while I may be a bit proud of my new-found car knowledge, what I am really striving for, is to internalize and grow from all these real-life lessons I am learning from everyone.     

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Update

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Winter Coats!

It's getting cold out .. these winter coats came just in time!!

Hard to tell from the pictures, but there were close to 1000 beautiful winter coats in new/perfect condition!!

A big Thank You to Lynne Belmonte and the JCC of Sonoma County for this generous and caring gift to our community! Gathering, sorting and shipping all these coats ..no easy task. It was so very appreciated!!

Thank you to All-Star Rents and the Museum of Northern California Art for letting us use your coat racks to keep everything nice and organized. 

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Car #16!

 And just in time for Shabbat... Car #16! 

The world is a very bright place my friends, full of goodness and kindness!!
 
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Giving/Receiving

 Giving & Receiving

As i am still in Chanukah mode (meaning our holiday boxes have not yet been organized and put in storage :/) i'm going to share something with you all that I have learned from the Menorah Flames about the "give&take" relationship. A lesson I have been privileged to see first hand with all the amazing people we have met, both on the giving and receiving end, over the past few weeks. 
When the flame of the shamash kindles the other candles, it is sharing and giving of itself, but it doesn't diminish from its worth or light in any way.
Here is a post from one such couple who drove a few hours (!!) to give their car to a fire survivor. 
This particular family gave their car to a woman who lost hers due to the fact that she chose to stay and helped evacuate and rescue over 50 residents in a medical care facility! 
Thank G-d almost every day we get to speak and meet people who are filled with such joy when they have the opportunity to share of themselves in such a significant and helpful way. 
The need is still great! There are so many people waiting. If you or anyone you know would be in a position to donate a car,your gift will be going directly to a family in need and helping them in ways you and I can't begin to imagine. I hope you will have the same experience and satisfaction this couple, as well as so many others, have had.
 
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Update

We have just passed the two-week mark since the start of the devastating fire that has changed our community forever. 

I wanted to just give a quick update on some of the initiatives we have started here at Chabad to help the Camp Fire Survivors. Please read and be in touch if you know of anyone in need of assistance or if you would like to get involved in any of these projects. There are so many ways to help out. We're all in this together! 

* Fire Relief Fund:  Thank you to all who donated so generously to the fund. Through your generosity, we were able to distribute thousands of dollars to survivors in need, both in our community and in the community at large. 

Right now we are concentrating on immediate expenses, we hope in the near future to be able to help people in even more significant ways so they can rebuild. If you know of anyone who is need of assistance, please don't hesitate to contact me. If you are able, please give generously so we can continue helping those in need. www.JewishChico.com/firefund

 

*Homemade Food Packages: Every day since the fire began volunteers have been at Chabad to cook, pack and deliver hot soups and food packages. A big thank you to all our dedicated volunteers for their time and effort: Rafi & Barbara Segal, Cheryll Robbins, Jed Wyrick, Lisa Ferris, Courtney Silver, Daniella Fried, Julie Light, Marie Altman, Diane Prince, Gordon Wolfe, Debbie Alspector, Morea Martin, Lisa, Chaim, Mia & Lucy Rappaport and the Zwiebel children! (I sincerely apologize if anyone was missed from this list!)

 

*Car Distribution:  A new initiative we have just begun working on is trying to secure cars free of charge for those who lost cars in the fire. The response has been tremendous, showing us how serious the need is. If you know anyone who has lost their car, please have them apply at www.jewishchico.com/car . If you (or someone you know) may be in a position to donate a car, please contact me for details. All donations are tax-deductible for the FMV of the vehicle. Cars must be in good working condition. Thank you! 

 

*Holiday Toy Drive: Holidays are an exciting time for children. Let's ensure that this year is no different for the thousands of children who lost their homes and possessions in the fire. All toys need to be NEW and in the package. Toys can be brought to the Chanukah Celebration at the City Plaza (Dec. 2.- 3:30 pm) or dropped off at Chabad from now until December 16th .
If you are gift wrapping, please indicate what the toy is so we can sort accordingly and use neutral wrapping as these toys will be going to children of all faiths. 
Volunteers will be needed to help with packing, sorting, and delivering. If you would like to get involved please email [email protected]
(If you are out of town and would like to participate, you can send through amazon or in the mail to Chabad Jewish Center 440 W. 4th St. Chico, CA 95928)

From the field

The stories I've been hearing "out in the field" are just unbelievable. 
Beautiful people, of all ages, from all walks of life. Hard working people, who worked honestly to support themselves and their families ... many of them left to live in tents or in evacuation shelters.DSC_0351.JPG

Everyone I speak to feels beyond blessed to be alive, and so fortunate to be part of our amazing Butte County community who are all so generous and kind.

I want to thank all who donated so generously to our fire relief fund helping us give a small piece of independence to so many. 

It's hard to describe the tears of joy of a young mother who receives some money and tells me how happy she is that she can now fill up her car and drive herself around without relying on someone else.

The money is being distributed faster than it is coming in, because the need is so great. 

Right now we are concentrating on immediate expenses, we hope in the near future to be able to help people in even more significant ways so they can rebuild. 

Please, if you are able, give generously so we can continue helping those in need.

100% of your money is going directly to the Camp Fire Survivors.

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Holiday Toy Drive for Children Affected by the Camp Fire

Holidays are an exciting time. Let's make sure that it's no different this year for the thousands of children affected by the Camp Fire.

Bring a NEW toy to the Chanukah celebration at the City Plaza (Sun. Dec. 2. 3:30 pm) OR drop off at Chabad.

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