This fundraiser is for the Reyes family and communities of Talent and Phoenix, Oregon, who lost their homes in the historic Southern Oregon wildfires.
Vanessa, a newly single homeschooling mom to Spencer (12) and Satori (6), sought a fresh start in a beautiful location with plenty of outdoors to explore.
In July 2020, they settled in the small town of Talent, Oregon, in a newly built apartment complex with a pool, community room, and a family-oriented feeling with many children. It was perfect for them, and they quickly forged new friendships!
On September 8th, just two months later, they heard that a wildfire was nearby, but like others, they did not receive any city emergency alerts. Quickly, they threw a few things in two bags and made sure to knock on neighbors' doors on their way out.
The wildfire spread with incredible speed due to 45mph winds, and by the evening, it had decimated large portions of the towns of Talent and Phoenix. Thousands of structures were destroyed.
While evacuating, they were terrifyingly stuck in a traffic jam with
other evacuees while the fire approached the cars from behind. The next
day, they were evacuated a second time from their hotel, due to a
different fire directly in front of the building.
Thankfully, Vanessa's family and all their neighbors survived the ordeal, but they learned that their new building, and all their possessions were destroyed. There's so much grief and trauma in losing their new home, as well as this town they fell in love with.
Vanessa is more concerned about her children losing their sense of security, well-being, and their tight-knit community, than by the material things they've lost.
She's been touched by the kindness of families who have offered them free books, to replace their homeschooling supplies; or those who gifted Spencer a guitar for his birthday (celebrated in their motel), to replace one lost in the fire; and resource volunteers who helped find donated stuffed animals for Satori, who was distraught over her "stuffies," "and [their] blender," "food in the fridge," and "new plates that burned."
In light of this tremendous loss, some of us who love Vanessa's family and have been the recipient of her generosity and thoughtfulness over the years, wanted to help her family get back on their feet. In addition to the burden of the fires, Vanessa's son is experiencing an uptick in epileptic seizures, and continues to have out-of-pocket costs to keep him healthy.
When we started this fundraising page, Vanessa requested these funds be not just for her, but also for her neighbors in need:
- She would like to share the proceeds with two neighbor families who have three children each; one of these families are immigrants from Egypt, who are navigating this ordeal with added language barriers.
- A portion of the donations will also go towards a general fund for Talent and Phoenix fire victims who have lost so much (Phoenix is predominantly low-income). People are struggling to make ends meet and with finding new housing; they've lost their homes, jobs or businesses, pets, and in some cases, loved ones.
Any help for these families and communities is truly appreciated! This season's wildfires caused as much as 10% of Oregon’s population to be put under evacuation orders across the state, leaving thousands of families displaced.
During this challenging time, it means a lot that you took the time to read this page. If you are able, please consider contributing to this fund (even small donations go a long way!); or sharing the link with your networks.
We appreciate your support!
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