The Northern California Fires

his trauma is so far reaching. So much was destroyed. Growing up in Santa Rosa - I know how close this community is. If your home or business was not destroyed, you knew someone who suffered a loss. How do you start to get things back on track? How do you begin to move forward? Sometimes it is doing little things- something simple. I met a friend for lunch. She and her husband lost everything. I wanted her to get away and talk. I simply listened. She took me through that night and cried, not because of the losses, she said, but because, "it is hard to take in all the kindness and support that has been given".


Ursuline High School, now St. Rose, and Cardinal Newman High School were severely damaged. All six children in my family attended these schools. I heard that St. Vincent De Paul High School in Petaluma scheduled a Mass to pray for and spaghetti feed to raise money for these schools on Saturday, October 21st. Several family members and friends attended. It was heartwarming to see how St. Vincent's principle, parents and student body extended a huge helping hand. We overlooked the rivalries and instead, looked at commonalities and directly provided assistance. 


Finally, I had a chance to speak with Dr. Patrick Wuthrich, an emergency room physician at Kaiser Santa Rosa. He shared stories about that night and the following days. This was a special story. As they evacuated patients to the Santa Rosa VA, he was approached by 4 men who simply said, "what do you need doc? We are here to help". He sent them to the person in charge and witnessed how immediately, they moved beds, mopped floors, emptied waste cans...answering any request. He asked them, "are you medics?" They simply said, "No Sir. We are Marines, what else do you need?" Dr. Wuthrich also praised the American Red Cross. He was completely impressed and inspired by their work, their system and how they brought organization to chaos. They provided guidance and amazing assistance.


So, if you would like to help, start by doing something simple. Call a family member or friend, invite them out, let them talk and start to process the events and losses. Do not worry about fixing anything, just listen. Host a small event to bring direct funding or specific supplies to schools that lost it all. Lastly, consider making a financial donation to the American Red Cross by clicking here. I now know, first hand, the value of their contributions.


"The Red Cross brought an immediate presence of organization and structure to an inherently chaotic and traumatic situation." 

- Dr. Patrick Wuthrich DO, Kaiser Permanente Santa Rosa and Santa Rosa resident


Metahab is here to help. 

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