OROVILLE – Thanksgiving arrived three days earlier for the survivors of the North Complex.
Survivors were treated to a Thanksgiving Monday meal prepared by the Tabletop Restaurant with all Southside Community Center props, as well as music, raffles, coloring pages for the kids, a photo booth, supplies such as toys, blankets, pet food, pajamas and cellphones and received a take-home grocery bag donated by the Magalia Community Church.
Every month since May 2021, Cal Hope and North Valley Catholic Social Services have hosted an event for North Complex survivors.
“We want them to feel like they’re not forgotten and give them warm vacation memories,” said Norma Lacy, disaster manager at Cal Hope. Lacy planned the event.
The complex, which included the Bear Fire, burned 318,935 acres in August 2020.
Survivor Clint Hunt ate his meal and enjoyed the lively atmosphere.
“It’s great, really nice to see what they’ve done,” Hunt said.
Survivor Wayne Llewellyn enjoyed a pie with his wife and a friend.
“The meal was really good,” Llewellyn said. “I lost my house in the fire. We will eventually rebuild, but the prices are high.
Sara Louton, disaster care manager in Saint-Vincent-de-Paul, served scrolls to survivors. “We make sure people are served and get what they need from us,” Louton said. “There are resources available. We want people to know how they can connect to community resources.
Survivor Jeanne Neeley won a $ 250 Visa gift card. She plans to use the gift card to fix the water pipes in her house.
North Valley Catholic Social Services Program Director Sendi Barrett helped register people at the front door and handed out raffle tickets.
“We wouldn’t be able to do this without the support of the community,” Barrett said. “It brings a family atmosphere and a sense of normalcy. It improves my work and makes a difference.
California Hope program director for Catholic Social Services in the North Valley, Jake Fender, distributed supplies. The grocery bags contained rice cakes, milk, crackers, cereals, baked goods and canned foods such as soup. He was very happy with the participation.
“It’s 4:16 pm and we have a full house,” said Jake Fender, California Hope program director for Catholic Social Services North Valley. “Many survivors feel forgotten. This encourages them to believe otherwise.
Northern Valley Catholic Social Services will be hosting a Christmas event on December 10, 2021 at the Lakeside Resource Center at 5250 Olive Highway, Suite J. Survivors can pick up packaged toys for the children.