In the spirit of giving and the holiday season, I wanted to share the story of the family I found through the Facebook group: Paradise Fire Adopt a Family. Rachel Smith and her family were lucky to escape with their lives and lost everything.
- Rachel Smith (mother)
- Leo Cronburg (father)
- Chant (14 years old)
- Josef (10 years old)
- Silas (7 years old)
- Arianna (2 years old)
Here are before and after pictures of her home.
There are hundreds of people posting on the Facebook group and there are a lot of people in need, but what drew me to Rachel (besides connecting to her as a mother) is how she gives back to her community through the arts.
Rachel is a credentialed yoga instructor, certified in various styles including aerial and dance. She had started a mermaid club to teach kids about self-care and self-love. The Positive I yoga studio in Paradise she taught at did not burn down, but is uninhabitable. She is just starting to look at potentially teaching yoga in Chico. Unfortunately due to the fires, no one can afford anything but the basics right now, so she is looking into getting a grant to help the victims through free yoga psychology.
This woman is selfless and trying to help others when she herself has lost her home and employment. She is also an herbalist and homeschools her children. When I spoke to her on the phone, she was all about gratitude and the health of her family.
Rachel and her family lived in Yankee Hill, a ridge next to Paradise, on 7 acres with pigs, goats and an organic food garden. Everything burned in the fire. Her extended family also lived in the area (mother and brother’s family). Everyone was affected by the fire. They are being sheltered through the kindness of people who have posted their homes on Airbnb as a result of the fires.
How to Help
She has an Amazon wishlist here. The address listed is her home in Yankee Hill that burned down, but the items are being held at the post office. She has received everything I’ve sent. Her kids like the outdoors so you won’t see a lot of toys on the wishlist, but you’ll see items for them to fish and tackle, and also lots of books.
She also setup a Venmo account @Rachel-Smith-732.
I hope you’ll consider helping out the family I adopted. They could use some love this holiday season!