ACS Disaster Response Teams in Oregon and Northern California continue to be engaged in the Recovery Efforts in communities affected by the devastating fires. W. Derrick Lea, NAD ACS DR Director, spent the last two weeks offering support to Oregon and Northern California conferences in their Efforts. He assisted in the negotiations with the State of Oregon regarding the management of the two multi-agency Warehouses that have been set up in Salem and Grants Pass and are being managed by volunteers from the Rocky Mountain and South Central conferences. Byron Dulan, North Pacific Union Conference ACS Director, said, “His wisdom and oversight has been indispensable in achieving a positive result. The entire endeavor has been bathed with prayer and led by the Holy Spirit.”
Upon arrival in Napa Valley, Lea met with James Lim, Northern California Conference ACS Director, and they headed to The Havens Community Center, one of the first ACS Centers in the North American Division, which was completely destroyed by the Glass Fire. Most of the homes and buildings were totally burned. Unfortunately, some do not have insurance and will have to start completely anew. “While Adventist Community Services assists the entire community in our work around the NAD and will continue to do so, this Community has over four times the national average of Seventh-day Adventists living within it. Our responsibility can be felt as we consider the consequences for those who live here,” said Lea.
Next, they visited the Foothills Adventist Elementary School which also sustained significant damage. Lim noted that it was Ellen White who encouraged the church to open this school to help the disadvantaged within the community. Many of the residents in the affected communities are now living in shelters and hotels, or have moved in with relatives out of town.
Pacific Union Conference ACS has been working with FEMA and CMA CGM, a world leader in shipping and logistics, who has provided several shipping containers to help communities impacted by the fires. These containers provide safe and secure storage for supplies used to rebuild homes, as well as for holding pallets of fresh water, nonperishable items, kitchen supplies, personal care items, toiletries, and clothing.
Charlene Sargent, ACS Director of Pacific Union, said, “We are extremely thankful to CMA CGM for their generous support in response to the thousands of devastating fires in California. The company’s contribution will play a critical role in providing help and healing for California families who have been displaced, lost homes and continue to struggle to rebuild their lives.”
“Our hearts are with all of those impacted by the wildfires in California,” said CMA CGM America President Ed Aldridge. “With our presence in California, we wanted to do something to help these impacted communities rebuild during this difficult time. Relief groups like ACS are currently distributing three times the normal volume of food due to the continuing wildfires and COVID-19, and we are pleased to be able to contribute to the relief efforts, offering a safe and secure place to store items for those who have lost their homes.”