In response to the Valley Fire, which broke out in the rural Alpine area of San Diego County on September 5th and was not contained until the 24th, the California-Pacific Conference Disaster Response Task Force put out a call for volunteers from the South District to help with the clean-up efforts. Almost 18,000 acres were burned with 30 residences destroyed and another 11 damaged. In addition, 31 other structures were destroyed.
Each volunteer was required to take “Done in A Day” online training before being able to participate in volunteer service. The first class was conducted by the Cal-Pac UMCOR-certified Early Response trainers on September 24th.
Over ten workdays, from September 26th to October 24th, 39 UMCOR volunteers from multiple churches in the South District worked a total of 66 days, donating 491 hours of service at 5 homesites. All that was left of a survivor’s home was a large pile of twisted metal, charred debris and ash. The sites were completely cleared of all remnants of fire damage, with all the material going into large bins supplied by the County.
The Disaster Response Task Force wants to give a big shout out to Karl Ports for all the work he did in organizing and leading the workdays. And for all the work he continues to do as one of the leaders coordinating disaster response among several government and non-government faith-based organizations in San Diego County.
For the survivors, the transformation from total destruction to the beginnings of hope for the future was dramatic. We are thankful for all volunteers who respond to Christ’s call to be a caring presence in times of great need.
To give to the Disaster Response fund, visit calpacumc.org/donate.
To learn more about the Task Force, visit calpacumc.org/disasterresponse/.