TC collects a truck load of items to take to refugees

By Courtney Cloud

With 63 confirmed deaths, over 600 individual missing, and nearly 12,000 structures destroyed, the Camp Fire in Northern California rages on. The city of Paradise lays in ruin after the unforgiving flames roared through it over the last week, sending men, women and children fleeing for safety.

Thousands of individuals near and dear to the heart of our small town community look to us for help now. Over 50,000 people were evacuated and are in dire need – many of which have connections to Taft.

Local businesses, individuals and organizations are all collecting items to the victims of the conflagration.

Many have family that lost their homes, and friends affected as well.

The Color Bar, True Value Hardware and others have all been collecting donated items of cash for the relief effort.

Taft College Professor Dr. Greg Golling and Baseball Coach Vince Maiocco of Taft College put together a donation drive for the victims of the Camp Fire.
Golling and Maiocco both have family that once lived in Paradise, which was almost completely burned to the ground.

Enlisting the help of his TC baseball team, Maiocco and Golling spent Thursday afternoon organizing donations as they were dropped off in the college parking lot. These displaced families lost everything, and it seems like donors thought of everything from clothing, bedding, soap and toiletries, diapers, school supplies for kids, water, and dog food.

Borrowing a huge, 25-ft box truck to haul all the donations, the pair of professors left for Paradise Friday morning. Originally, Dr. Golling worried there wouldn't be enough donations, “We were concerned at one point that we wouldn't have enough stuff to fill (the box truck), but this looks amazing.”

There is still so much the families of Paradise need, but thankfully there are still many businesses collecting donations in addition to other ways you can help.

If you have items you'd like to donate, visit www.wecarebakersfield.com to find a drop off location.

You can also make a monetary donation any time with Red cross. There are three different ways to give:
- Text "Red Cross" to 90999 to make a $10 donation
- Call 1-800 - Red Cross
- visitredcross.org