I am feeling it right now. Most of my day was spent away from facebook and Butte fire updates. I sat down to catch up and the information I am learning hurts. My fear for the past three weeks is that people who lost their homes are not getting the help they need. I have tried to tell myself this can't be true. Someone, corporation, or organization must be looking out for people. Tonight, I learned my fears may not be off base. As I started talking to people I was feeling excited and motivated. I learned about a women and her adult son in a difficult situation and I am looking into seeing what benefits they may qualify for. Then, right before I went to sign out I recieved another message from someone who spent the day in Mountain Ranch volunteering. She thinks the only reason people were open with her was because there was a fire vitcim they knew with her.
Here is a summary of her message to me about her day......
I spent most of the day at the mt ranch donation site. This was my first trip up there and it gave me a whole new perspective on the disaster. Today I saw from the vicitms point of veiw.....
So many are not getting help from FEMA, a lot are pissed off and at their ropes end. None of the people that we talked to today believe what any non profit org says. Most don't believe anything anyone says, they have been lied to too many times. It was an emotional draining day for me, knowing so many needed help. There were not many donations at the site. Some came looking and went away empty handed. Some were in tears. We reached out to maybe 10-15 people. Lots don't have phones and most have no power for internet. Lots were not aware fo all the programs that are in place to help them and NONE trust fema..
There was one guy saying he needed a hot water heater for his travel trailer. I said I might be able to find him one and he replied ,"Sure..I have been told that at least 5 times. I come all the way down here and I wait 4 to 5 hours and they don't show up. Why should I trust you." He shoved my business card back to me and stormed off. Lots feel they have just been abandoned. Most need a roof over their heads. That was the main need, to get off the ground.
As we were leaving the park today there was a elderly lady sitting in her car, tears running down her face. She lost everything she had built for the last 25 years. She was tired of fighting with FEMA....no one stepped up to offer help. I gave her my business card and before I left she was smiling and the tears were gone. This is what we need to do!
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!