UPDATE: TUESDAY, MAY 8, 2018
There is an opportunity to serve in the North Bay community to help those who have lost their homes begin the rebuilding efforts. On Saturday, June 9, volunteers will have the chance to build sheds for victims of last year's North Bay fires.
On June 9, volunteers from all over the Bay Area will be joining together to build and deliver 100 sheds in one day. The sheds are built for the purpose of storing tools and equipment for those who will be rebuilding their homes.
For more information about how to get involved, please click here: https://hopecityinspiringhope.org/shed-program.
This is a hands-on volunteer opportunity that will require some physical and manual labor. It is not recommended for those with physical impairments or limitations. Completion of a liability release waiver and pre-registration are required to participate.
UPDATE: TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2018
The Bridge is a church in Santa Rosa who has led churches in a strong effort in Santa Rosa in Fire Disaster Response. They have been a light in this community during the tragedy and loss due to fire. Just recently, we found out that their satellite campus was destroyed by fire. They rented, just as we do for our Hayward Campus. However, the location and their 40' container were completely destroyed. It held many things for the campus, including a mini golf course and obstacle course built for the summer day camps that they lead for children in the area. Fortunately, we are grateful that their 26' trailer was not destroyed, and the electrical equipment was saved. This past week, this campus relaunched in a new location. Praise God that they were able to start again. Please pray for the members and staff of this campus as they seek to reach out to their community.
There were many people affected by the fire who attend the Bridge, including the pastor, Billy Andre, who lost his home. In addition, their youth pastor, Trey Box, had just gotten married to Kelly a few months before the fires, then lost everything, including all of their wedding gifts. They now must live in a house with 9 people, affording them little privacy as they start their marriage. People all over Santa Rosa are struggling with the emotional trauma of not only losing all of their possessions, but also the struggle of finding a home and being under-insured or not insured at all. Depression is hitting also the kids and teens as they deal with their new reality. Please pray for those who are still dealing with loss and grief. Pray for those who are reaching out to the community, to provide healing and restoration.
We would like to do something for the young married couple who lost their new home and their possessions. If you have a vacation place and you would consider offering a week for Trey and Kelly to allow them some time alone and away, it would be a great blessing. Please contact Lita Sample to coordinate. Thank you!
UPDATE: THURSDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2017
Since October, California has had thousands of fires, including more than 20 major fires, all burning more than a million acres and more than a thousand homes and structures have been destroyed. And, even now, 6 major fires burn in Southern California, with the largest fire, the Thomas Fire, has over 240,000 acres being burned with only 30% containment (as of the writing of this update). 92,000 people have had to be evacuated from this area.
The numbers are staggering. However, when the fire is contained and extinguished, it is easy to forget that the disaster is not over for those who have lost homes and most every possession that they own. For some, who have insurance, they will rebuild. However, for hundreds of people who don’t have insurance, it is devastating.
But there is some good news. An organization called Hope Crisis Response Network, a Christian organization that builds homes in response to disaster. May 2018, they will begin building 50 homes and they are calling it Hope City in Santa Rosa for uninsured people. We will be looking for volunteer teams to participate in this rebuilding. Naturally, we need those who have specialties in certain areas of construction, but just as important are people who don’t have any experience, but are willing to be trained and do the work. After the first of the year, we will begin the process of planning for volunteers. We pray that many will come to help give hope to those without homes.
Currently, a rebuilding effort is already going on in California in Lake County to help people who lost their homes in the 2016 fires. They still need teams to help the building of these homes. If you are interested in helping with either of these projects, please contact Lita Sample.
The current situation is that this fire has caused many families to become homeless. There has been an increase in shelter population with a temporary shelter that has been established at the Santa Clara Fair Grounds, especially to help shelter people during the cold nights. Please be in prayer for these families who are out of their homes. Pray for Hope City and pray that permits and plans will be approved quickly. Pray for volunteers who will be making plans and gathering teams to come build Hope City.
UPDATE: FRIDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2017, 11:13AM
After last weekend's services, Crossroads raised more than another thousand dollars worth of gift cards and financial gifts! We are blown away by the generosity of this community! We will be continuing to have the boxes available in the lobby this weekend and of course you can continue to give online by clicking the link above or by placing cash/checks in the offering bucket on the weekend. The dialogue with our partner churches is ongoing and we are continuing to determine how we can best serve our North Bay friends who have been devastated by these terrible fires. Thankfully, the fires are now almost completely contained and the destruction if almost over. Very soon we should be able to start planning opportunities to bring volunteer teams into the affected areas to help in the cleanup and rebuilding efforts. Details will be communicated as soon as they are available.
UPDATE: TUESDAY, OCTOBER 18, 2017, 3:00PM
Today we were able to deliver nearly $8,000 worth of gift cards and financial support to our partner church, The Bridge, in Santa Rosa. Almost immediately, your gift were being put into the hands of people that desperately needed them. Lance Hough, our Creative Arts Director, also gave us a video update while on site in Santa Rosa. You can watch it below.
UPDATE: SUNDAY, OCTOBER 15, 2017, 2:11PM
All we can say is, "WOW!" This weekend you brought thousands of dollars worth of gift cards to help those affected by the North Bay fires! But we are not stopping there. We will continue to collect funds and gift cards for the days and weeks to follow. As soon as we receive word from our partner churches about their specific needs, we will also begin collecting physical goods (i.e. clothes, canned food, household items). We are also determining how we can best serve in the rebuilding effort. Keep checking back for updates as this situation continues to develop.
UPDATE: THURSDAY, OCTOBER 12, 2017, 12:18PM
If you would like to make a financial gift toward the relief effort, you can do so by bringing cash or check to either church campus and deposit it in the designated box in the lobby area. You can also give electronically by clicking here. Please make sure to select the "North Bay Fire Relief" option from the Fund drop down menu.
ORIGINAL POST: WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2017, 3:00PM
The ongoing fire crisis in the North bay is one that affects many of us deeply. People we know and love are being displaced, even losing homes and businesses. As a church, we want to respond in a real, tangible way and to be the hands and feet of Christ in this situation.
We have already reached out to churches in and around the affected area to try to determine the best way to help in the immediate need. We are partnering with The Bridge Church in Santa Rosa, along with roughly 50 other churches in that area to aid in the relief effort.
Because this emergency situation is still very fluid, there is still a lot of assessment and logistic coordination that needs to take place before determining the way that we can best serve our brothers and sisters in the North Bay in the weeks and months to come. However, there are a couple immediate needs that we can help with NOW!
1) The biggest issue facing the people in the Sonoma county area is temporary housing. Nearby motels and hotels are completely full. Some people are being redirected as far away as Roseville (that's nearly 120 miles away)! If you have an RV, trailer, camper, or the like that you would be willing to lend to a family in need of temporary housing, please send us an e-mail. Additionally, if you have an extra room(s) in your home that you would be willing to open up for displaced people, please let us know.
2) The second largest need is food. Many organizations are already collecting non-perishable food items which is great. However, most people displaced by the fire do not have any way to cook or prepare food right now. Our contacts suggested that a donation of gift cards for chain restaurants, even fast food, would be incredibly helpful. Cash gifts, gas cards, and grocery store cards are less helpful at this time because most stores and gas stations are closed or empty, and unable to restock because of the fires. But nearby restaurants have been able to stay open. If you would like to donate food cards, you can bring with them with you to either campus this weekend. Boxes are setup in the lobby/entrance area where you can deposit them.
And of course, we can continue to be in prayer for everyone affected by this terrible disaster. We will continue to be in discussion as to how we can best offer love and support in this situation, both now and in the weeks and months to come. Let's use this opportunity as a church to shine some of God's love and light into perhaps some of the darkest moments of peoples lives and point them towards Jesus!