Tuesday, October 13, 2020

With Great Thanksgiving...

There are so many people and organizations to thank for enabling the Disaster Recovery event to happen Saturday.  Our church would like to especially thank principal Mike Heffner and Cyndy Cote from Bonny Doon Elementary School for making the school parking lot and auditorium available for FEMA, Red Cross and other organizations to use.  We also thank Emergency Services Manager, Rosemary Anderson for her support and coordination with FEMA Emergency Management Specialist, Colleen Zaremba.  Thank you to Hallie Green for her expertise from the Bear Creek event.  

Thank you to Convergence Church for providing volunteers, funding for lunch and gift baskets.  Hana prepared meals to the Felton Pres. Church.  Karen and Mary made up these wonderful gift baskets.  We especially thank Joby Aviation for allowing us to store lunches in their walk-in refrigerator and Paula and Jonathan Holt for meeting us Friday night and Saturday to store and retrieve them.

Thank you to our church members for serving food and helping to provide Covid checks to people attending the gathering.

Thank you to Kim Furnish for donating clothing for our neighbors attending.

Tuesday, October 06, 2020

Disaster Recovery

This Saturday, the church has coordinated to have FEMA, NGO organizations and county offices come to Bonny Doon to give residences impacted by the fire an opportunity to have their questions answered.  Here are some of the organizations who will be there in addition to FEMA:

  • Red Cross
  • CalFresh and Second Harvest
  • Monterey based Catholic Charities 
  • Resource Conservation District of Santa Cruz County
  • United Policyholder

The first stop for participating in this information session will be to stop by the church (7065 Bonny Doon Road) for a COVID screening and a reminder to please wear your mask at all times while on the school and church properties and to keep a 6-foot distance from other participants.  Once you've been screened we will give you a paper wrist band to wear around your wrist so that participating agencies will know that you've been screened.

FEMA will be setup in the lower parking lot at the school.  NGO and county agencies will have tables in the school's multi-purpose room.  

Convergence Church has given us a grant to hire Hana O'Brien to prepare food for people who join us.  We will be serving Lulu's coffee at the church.  Hana was the recipient of a generous donation of high quality meat and non-perishable food to prepare meals for people impacted by the fire.   She prepared food for people in her community when she was evacuated and is sharing this with us. The food was donated by companies like Google and Twitter who had kitchens that were shutdown due to COVID when employees began working from home.   We are grateful to Joby for allowing us to store the food overnight in their walk-in refrigerators and Felton Pres. Church for allowing the use of their kitchens.


- Pesto Parmesan Tortellini 

- New York Mac Salad

- White chocolate Macadamia Nut cookies


- Mediterranean Couscous (contains almonds)


- Irish Style Beef Brisket w seasoned spaghetti 

- Tandoori Chicken w seasoned spaghetti

- Cajun Style Chicken w seasoned spaghetti 

Kim Furnish has setup a donation table of clothing that people are free to take.  Many of the items are new with tags.  Convergence Church volunteers will be available to pray with people who would like prayer support.

Friday, September 25, 2020

Financial & Tactical Help Recovering from the Fire

This Blog Post includes information about the services of Samaritan's Purse, FEMA Disaster Assistance Team, as well as a note from Pastor Edd about where you can find help.
  1. Help Sifting Through Ashes
  2. FEMA Disaster Assistance Team
  3. A Note From Pastor Edd

Help Sifting Through Ashes

Both the Presbyterian Disaster Relief and Samaritan's Purse have trained volunteers who will help you sift through ashes.  Samaritan's Purse is working with Convergence Church to help.  Presbyterian Disaster Relief has had a table at the Kaiser Center for the past few weeks and has come up to help a neighbor in Country Estates find things as well as others.  Samaritan's Purse has  said that it is unusual for a disaster like ours not to have more people signing up for help. Please do sign up for help, they are experts at finding precious items in from the remains of a fire.

FEMA's Disaster Survivor Assistance

On Saturday and Sunday from 2-6pm FEMA’s Disaster Survivor Assistance teams will be in Boulder Creek at: Bear Creek Recreation and Community Center, 15685 Forest Hill Drive, Boulder Creek, CA, 95006. 

Edd's shared this information with our church in email this week. 

This week has been a learning experience for me. Wednesday afternoon I went up to the church to help Sue hand out meals and to meet with a person that Brandon wanted us to meet. Brandon is the pastor from Convergence Church in Capitola who has been spearheading the volunteer effort around the county and who has been working with Sue at our church to help us get food and water to distribute. The person he brought with him was from the national office of FEMA. 

One of many things we learned from Kevin was the need for everyone who has been displaced from the fire or lost something in the fire, to register with FEMA. If you do have needs now or in the future might need financial assistance, you will never get it if you do not register now with their organization. He said one of the strange things that will happen once you register is you will receive in the mail a package from the SBA, Small Business Administration. Do not laugh. The SBA is the banking wing of the government that handles the disbursements and loans in times of disasters. That includes any personal loans you may desire to receive. The loans to help you rebuild will be available and the interest rate is in the neighborhood of 1% and sometimes the loans are forgivable. This is something you should not pass up. 

And then on Thursday I gathered with a group of people on the Zoom meeting for the Red Cross. There were many different agencies on the meeting talking about the things they are doing to help people during this time. Natividad Hospital can help you get temporary Medical services to assist in paying for any medical issues you might have at this time. The Red Cross also has services that allow you to connect with a mental health professional if you are in need of counseling or other types of care services. If you or someone in your home is needing services related to Disabilities, the Red Cross has a team to help you.

The Red Cross is another place where you need to sign up in order to be given services. You can do so in four ways. You can go to the Kaiser Permanente Center in Santa Cruz. You can make a phone call to 1-800-Red-Cross and select option 4 and they will help you with immediate assistance. They have a fund that will provide $450 to any household that qualifies, to help you in the recovery or displacement. They also have vouchers for other needs you might have. You can go online to redcross.org/apply if you desire to do it yourself and answer the questions. They only want to know that you are who you say you are, lived in the effected area, and were impacted by the fire in some way. 

The Red Cross has services to help you find additional resources including moving from temporary locations to your next stage in life, i.e. transportation tickets, moving trucks, rental deposits, and the list goes on and on. 

Oh, and the fourth way to connect with them, in case you are counting, you can attend the Mobile resources event this Saturday, 26th and Sunday, 27th at 15685 Forest Hill Drive in Boulder Creek and sign up in person. 

Besides FEMA and the Red Cross there is ongoing assistance from Valley Churches United, that has a food pantry, vouchers to Abbotts Thrift store, gift cards, to Safeway, Target, Costco, and the like. They also can provide help with utilities and hotels. Catholic Charities can also help with past rental payments that you owe or help in finding new rental housing for people displaced. And Grey Bears also has a lot of services available besides their weekly bag of food that has been going on each Thursday at our church for years.



Friday, September 18, 2020

A Hug in a Mug.

Join us for coffee and conversation between 9-11am Monday through Saturday.   This is a great opportunity for neighbors to share information to help each other move forward after the wild fire.  We are also working with Convergence Church and the San Jose Presbyterian community to find out what people need and to do what they can to help.  We are grateful to Barry who brought up #BonnyDoonStrong stickers for "Dooners" Sept 19th and Lisa S. brought fresh baked scones.


Wednesday, September 09, 2020

Fire Relief Food Distribution in Bonny Doon

 Fire Relief Food Distribution in Bonny Doon

Starting Sept 10th, we began serving "to-go" lunch and dinner meals for up to 150 people at Bonny Doon Church.  We now are serving coffee Saturday September 19th from 9-11am as well.  Lunch is served at 12:30-1:30pm.  Dinner is served at 5:30-6:30pm.  We have a commitment to receive meals until October 2nd.  Many people have asked how they can contribute financially to support the aide being offered at the church, people can contribute here to help fund continued community fire relief efforts.  

The meals are graciously provided by a grant from Operation BBQ Relief coordinated by Convergence Church in the Capitola Mall.  Convergence Church contracted with 1440 Multiversity to prepare the meal we are distributing at our church.   Pastor Edd came up for lunch the first day we distributed food.  Sue had an opportunity to meet their Chef Kenny Woods briefly Thursday night when she picked up dinner from Felton Pres. Church.  Convergence is reaching out to churches in the Bay Area for assistance and within our Santa Cruz County to solicit volunteers.  Convergence Church has provisioned fire relief assistance like fans, filters, tents, water and sleeping bags to those impacted by the fires.

Barbara Burke helped make the connection to the pastor at Convergence when she was volunteering at Felton Pres. Church last week.  Teri P. helped Sue C. create the posters that advertise the free meals around Bonny Doon.   Barbara Burke drove the dinner up to Bonny Doon Friday night and will continue to help deliver meals.  Sue C's friend Kit from Los Gatos brought cookies and Cliff Bars. The meals are not vegetarian or gluten-free, but Kit is brought up  gluten-free chocolate chip cookies packaged in individual bags to be safe last week.  Harpreet, a friend and neighbor of Elizabeth and Sue C who was living in our neighborhood for the Spring brought up meals last week and contributed Pacific Cookie Company cookies for lunch and dinner. 

Convergence brought up sleeping bags, blankets, flashlights, batteries fans, filters, masks and these goodies for people who need them.  Past members of our church drove a U-Haul truck load of items to share with us.  Denby's niece also contributed many donations.  We have continued to receive donations from the community of clothing as well as food for chickens and pets.

Friday, September 04, 2020

Where to Find and Give Help

Meals for People Impacted by CZU Fire

Coffee, lunch and dinner are being distributed from Bonny Doon Church Monday through Friday last week and this week

Billy Graham's Church was at Felton Presbyterian Church earlier this week to offer prayers.

Pastor Edd Breeden from Bonny Doon Church is working with the San Jose Presbyterian Church to share our communities needs.  Convergence Church is also collecting our needs and coordinating with other churches in the area to meet them.

Santa Cruz County Recovery Resource Center (RRC)

Kaiser Permanente Arena, has opened as the Santa Cruz County Recovery Resource Center (RRC) for victims affected by the CZU Lightning Complex Fire. Representatives from numerous agencies will be on hand to answer questions about disaster assistance programs and other support to help families. FEMA, CalOES, and numerous federal, state and local agencies and nonprofits will be located at the RCC.

What: Recovery Resource Center 

When: 11 a.m.-7:00 p.m., daily 

Where: Kaiser Permanente Arena, 140 Front St., Santa Cruz

Neighbors have reported that trained volunteers from the  Presbyterian Church are offering to help people go through ashes on their property to look for precious remains.  They have a booth at the resource center.

To Contribute Financially 

Our Bonny Doon Church is has two funds for fire relief we are accepting donations to provide fire relief assistance to our Bonny Doon community as well as accepting donations for the church members in our church impacted by the fire  and has received disaster relief from the Presbyterian Disaster Relief Fund.

Bonny Doon School Superintendent and a handful of local families have coordinated with the Santa Cruz County Foundation to be their fiscal sponsor for a Bonny Doon Fire Relief Fund.  Their intentions are to manage the distribution of funds through neighborhood captains.


Peer-to-Peer Fire Relief

Many individuals who are providing immediate aide to people who have remained in Bonny Doon to feed animals and fight the fire are accepting help through their personal Venmo accounts.  These individuals are providing fuel, water and food.  Much of the help was offered at the airport.  If you have provided that help and not been reimbursed or if you are wanting to reimburse those who paid for supplies out of their own pockets and haven't been reimbursed up please reach out to suecannon@gmail.com

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Bonny Doon Church Fire Relief

A deer forages in the smokey dusk Saturday along Smith Grade Road near Beauregard Vineyards in Bonny Doon. (Shmuel Thaler – Santa Cruz Sentinel)

If You Want to Donate & Help

To support the church's fire relief efforts to the Bonny Doon Community, one can donate here.  

Six families of our congregation have lost their homes in the recent fires.  We are accepting donations in support of these families and others who have been evacuated in the event you would like help them out financially.  

Our church has also applied for and will be receiving a disaster relief grant from the Presbyterian Disaster Assistance. Our church session (current elders lead by our pastor who are governing our church administration) will be managing the distribution of these funds.  Our current session members include a couple of family members who have lost their homes.     

The Bonny Doon School shared this list of resources with their families they are accepting donations to help students evacuated by the fire. 

Santa Cruz County is accepting contributions of large, family-sized tents at the Emeline Warehouse, 1082 Emeline in Santa Cruz. The County asks that you do not donate food during disasters.

The Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter is in need of cat litter boxes, cat litter, dry dog, and cat food. They are asking donations be dropped off at 1001 Rodriguez St. in Santa Cruz. If you have been displaced and need pet supplies, you can come to the Shelter at 1001 Rodriguez St. in Santa Cruz for supplies as well.

You can also donate locally to nonprofit organizations serving evacuated areas:

The Watsonville Fair Grounds are in need of volunteers to provide care and comfort to people who have evacuated their homes due to the current fire.

Give toiletries, tents, and air purifiers to the Community Action Board who are serving seniors and farmworkers in Davenport.

Here is a master document where you can find additional resources and submit individual needs or offers.

Sign up for a shift at the CAL FIRE call center on Ocean Street to answer questions that local residents may have about the fires. Shifts are two hours each, and you can sign up via this link.

Offer up a room or storage space for folks evacuating using this master doc.

The Community Action Board is currently accepting monetary donations and is seeking N95 masks, gift cards, hotel vouchers, toiletries, and hygiene items. Donate here or email rubenp@cabinc.org to coordinate drop-offs.