Stories of Loss and Community: Oregon Comes Together in the Face of Calamity
It's Monday morning. Wildfires are still raging up and down the West Coast, including in my beloved state of Oregon. I am looking out the front window of my Portland home at the houses just a block away that are shrouded in a yellowish smoky haze. Trees three blocks away are mere shadows, barely discernible against the sky.
But I'm lucky.
I can stay inside my home with the air filter my husband jury-rigged from a furnace filter and our old box fan, only venturing out briefly when our dog needs a potty break. So many of my fellow Oregonians don't have that luxury because they, like Naked Acres' Gus Liszka in the video above, have had to flee their homes, many leaving their farms, their crops and sometimes their animals in the face of the fires sweeping across our state.
I have been so moved by our agricultural community that has come together to help their neighbors, no questions asked, and the facilities, community members and volunteers who have been caring for their neighbors and their animals.
And that little white farmhouse standing against the black skies on the left? That's Gus's home.
If you'd like to help, here are organizations that are aiding local farmers and ranchers directly:
- Pacific Northwest Wildfire Animal Rescue: Accepting donations of volunteer time, dispatch assistance, help with transporting animals and supplies for farmers and ranchers affected by wildfires.
- Santiam Fire GoFundMe: Donations will purchase and deliver supplies to small farmers and ranchers affected by the Santiam wildfire.
- Portland Area CSA: Collecting donations to help Oregon's small family farms affected by the wildfires.
- UNETE Center for Farmworker and Immigrant Advocacy: Fund will distribute money directly to families for basic needs like food, gas and other essentials in response to the complications surrounding the recent fires in Jackson County.
- Casa of Oregon: Is supporting agricultural workers who have been affected by wildfires.
- Our Family Farms: 100% of your donation goes toward immediate and long-term housing for our farmworkers and their families.
- PCUN Farmworker Emergency Fund: A general emergency fund for farmworkers affected by COVID-19 and the wildfires.
- Green Dog Pet Supply Pet Food for Evacuees: Accepting donations for purchases of healthy pet food (at cost) for pets of evacuees. Call 503-528-1800.
- Naked Acres Farm Wildfire Recovery: If you were moved by Gus's story and would like to help, you can donate directly to the farm's recovery.