Category Archives: Mendocino Complex Fire (2018)

Marshmallows and whipped cream included

Addison Patane 6, is not your average barista. After seeing a commercial urging help for California’s wildfire victims, she was inspired to serve others. Addison had prior success with a neighborhood lemonade stand. Like any savvy business entrepreneur, she changed her menu for the season. With just an art table, a few supplies, and a little help, this young miss set up a hot chocolate stand in her front yard. But, the profits made in the fall of 2018 didn’t go towards buying a new pair of dance shoes. She donated all of the proceeds to the American Red Cross.

Addison’s story began to percolate after a trip to a craft store. There, her mother purchased materials to make blankets for CHP employees that lost their homes in the Camp Fire. Addison wanted a project of her own but didn’t know how someone her age could make a difference.

The following day, Addison saw a commercial about a little girl who collected turkeys for fire victims. The story turned on a light bulb. Addison could launch a hot chocolate stand.

Kayla Patane, 26, was thrilled to learn that her daughter wanted to serve up cups of kindness for a cause. Right away, the two purchased all of the necessary supplies.

Classmate Charlotte Reineck, 7, of Cali Calmecac Language Academy joined in the fundraising efforts. Addison and Charlotte crafted a sign that read, “Hot Cocoa 50 Cents for Fire Victims.” In two hours, the first-graders made a total of $42.

There were “a lot of customers,” recounts Addison. “One person even paid five dollars for a single cup!” Customers had the option of whipped cream and marshmallows at no additional cost.

So, why does Addison help strangers? In her own words, “I think it’s nice doing nice things because it’s good to share and to be nice to other people.”

Addison’s connection to fire victims is also personal. Her maternal grandparents, Gina and Casey Meints, lost their home in the Tubbs Fire. Kayla explains that her parents lived in her family’s home after the fire. That’s how Addison first learned of the Red Cross. “They went to the Red Cross right after the fires where they were treated with so much empathy and given help,” Kayla reflects. “The resources available for whom to call for different things and their overall support were extremely helpful. We were very appreciative of everything they did.”

“GiGi and Papa had a hard time, but things are getting better,” Addison pledges. Their new house should be rebuilt this month.

When Addison is not a local beverage artisan or spending time with family, she enjoys reading, math, and dance. After school, she takes ballet lessons. When she grows up, she would like to pursue dance professionally or become a veterinarian. A career in nursing or teaching are also top contenders.

Kayla adds, “Addison has had a nurturing and empathetic nature since she was little. It will be amazing seeing all she does as she grows up.”

Addison hopes students at her school, as well as adults, read about her day managing a hot chocolate stand. She hopes her story will create more pop-up kindness projects that benefit people in need.

Red Cross response to Mendocino Complex Fire

As of Friday, August 17, 2018, 12:00 p.m.
For information on Red Cross services, call the 2018 Northern California Fire Storms Hotline at 855-558-1116.

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Jordan Innes, 8, is glad that he can be with his pets while he is staying at the Lower Lake High School shelter. (Photo: Virginia Becker, American Red Cross)
For more photos, please go to this Flickr site.
Read some of our client and volunteer stories from this disaster relief operation. 

 California Northwest Chapter Executive Director Jeff Baumgartner address concerns about the Red Cross response in this blog post.

Three weeks after the Mendocino Complex Fire erupted in northern California, the Red Cross is there as communities recover, making sure people get the help they need as they cope with the aftermath of these deadly fires. According to officials, the Mendocino Complex Fire, which includes the River Fire and the Ranch Fire, which is 76% contained, has burned more than 378,000 acres and destroyed 157 homes in Lake County.

Alongside many community members and partners, 374 Red Cross disaster workers, most of whom are volunteers, continue to support to people whose lives have been turned upside-down by these wildfires. Read more

Woof! Pet-Friendly Shelters Comfort Evacuees

by Patricia Kemp, Red Cross volunteer

For residents evacuated to Middletown Middle School during the Mendocino Complex Fire, the barking and meows of more than 100 of their furry family members were anything but annoying. In fact, they were downright comforting.

At the peak of evacuations, animals sheltered on the school’s campus outnumbered people by 2-to-1. More than 70 people and 140 pets stayed in the gym or camped in tents on the athletic field. Read more

Optimistic evacuee looking on the bright side of life

By Kathleen Maclay, Red Cross volunteer

Lori Rose of Lucerne isn’t one to let life pass her by – whether the nearly 84-year-old is making the most of being a Mendocino Complex Fire evacuee in a Red Cross shelter at Middletown High or zipping along Highway 20 bordering Clear Lake in a motorized scooter with a bright balloon trailing behind her.

To some, Rose’s life may sound challenging. After all, she’s blind in her right eye, she has diabetes, sometimes experiences vertigo and lost her husband to brain cancer in 1993.

But as she recounts being evacuated for the first time, it’s clear that Rose sees the glass as half full. Read more

Small kindnesses make the biggest differences

by Kathleen Maclay, Red Cross volunteer

A tired Rose Santana went from table to table at the crowded Local Assistance Center (LAC) in Lucerne on Monday. She was looking for help and getting it.  Signing up for Social Security, getting a temporary ID from the Department of Motor Vehicles, learning she needed a letter confirming she had lived in a motorhome on a friend’s Upper Lake land off White Rock Canyon Road from which she evacuated due to the Mendocino Complex Fire.

Santana, 64 and a Lake County resident since 1991, needed one more thing: a place to store her belongings – all contained in two rolling suitcases and a duffle bag. Read more

Community Connections Aids Recovery for Wildfire Survivors 

By Patricia Kemp, Red Cross Volunteer

Connie Sager didn’t hesitate when her phone started buzzing Aug. 3 with evacuation alerts. She scooped up her tiny dog, Taz, and headed for safe shelter. It was the third time this year Connie fled wildfires. But this time she had no home to return to in Spring Valley.  The Mendocino Complex Fire swallowed the place she lived for 35 years. What remained were melted bedframes, a charred refrigerator, and clothes smoldered to gray ash.

“My house is a total loss, red-tagged. I’m not processing it yet,” she said. Read more

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