It's hard to describe to you the feeling I have driving through these California communities that are being hit with wildfires again.
This is the fourth consecutive year that Mercy Chefs has responded to the wildfire crisis here. The air is thick with the smell of smoke from the Kincade Fire. Just driving in this region causes one's eyes to burn and throat to hurt. Air quality is very bad and the situation is made worse by the fact that huge sections of the state are without power or facing power outages in the coming days. Hundreds of thousands are under evacuation orders. People are sleeping in their cars. On top of all this, it was unseasonably cold last night.
The "fuel beds" are extremely dry here so even the smallest of embers will burst into flames, especially with the winds reaching hurricane speeds. The winds literally fan the flames of the wildfires. A few days ago, the Kincade Fire was growing at the rate of a football field EVERY THREE SECONDS!
+ + We're serving meals TONIGHT!
We are setting up in Marin County, which neighbors one of the communities we served that was hard hit just two years ago, Santa Rosa (here's a look at what this community faced in 2017). Our Mercy One mobile kitchen just arrived along with some of our staff and volunteers. As I write, we are rushing to serve our first meals THIS EVENING to families in shelters and National Guard troops who are doing their best to help keep people in these communities safe. The Guardsmen have been eating military MREs since the fire began to spread days ago. I'm thrilled that we can provide them with real, chef-prepared, hot dinners this evening.
Of course, every meal we serve is made possible by friends like you...
Will you help me provide hot meals to the National Guard troops, other emergency workers, and families who have been forced from their homes by this raging wildfire? Your tax-deductible gift will help ALL WEEK as we serve hot meals in response to the California wildfires and continue other vital efforts. Go here to make your gift:
We are also networking with the local church community here to get meals directly to shelters and families who are being forced to flee from the flames. Within 24-36 hours, our Mercy Chefs team will be serving as many meals as possible over the coming days. Our mobile capability is even more critical given the widespread nature of the power outages. We can get our kitchen into the heart of the hardest-hit areas and serve hot meals even if there is no power source available.
Finally, please PRAY for the firefighters and emergency workers here, along with the families that are being directly impacted by these wildfires. Also pray for our Mercy Chefs team. Ask the Lord to maximize the impact of our efforts to "feed body and soul" in the midst of this crisis. We covet your prayers and your financial support! Your partnership makes it possible for Mercy Chefs to serve hundreds of thousands of hot meals every year.
Gary LeBlanc, Founder and President
P.S. We really need your help right now. Our resources have been stretched by the extended deployment in the Bahamas in response to Hurricane Dorian, our recent deployment to Dallas, and our ongoing work helping Hurricane Michael victims in Florida. Will you help sponsor 10, 20 40, or even 100 hot meals for California wildfire victims and volunteers? We're feeding the National Guard THIS EVENING! Go here to help:
P.P.S. Below are a few more images from the last time we were in Santa Rosa. We are praying that lives and homes will be spared from this massive wildfire that is being fueled by hurricane-force winds. Pray with us. And help us help those on the front lines of this battle.