RV to Paradise

After losing his home in the Camp Fire, Hayden Rakes and his father and brother had been living in their car until the St. Helena group RV to Paradise gave them an RV to live in temporarily.

When the RV to Paradise project first began in December with the idea of sending one RV to shelter Camp Fire victims, the group was casting about for the best way to raise money.

One member of the committee belonged to the Federated Women of the Upper Napa Valley. With her leadership and the generosity of the organization in letting RV to Paradise use their 501c3, we established a partnership. That partnership, coupled with the generosity of the St. Helena community, led to results we never dreamed of in the beginning.

To date we have delivered three vehicles and two RVs to victims of the Paradise fires. There is one more RV to be delivered shortly.

The recipients include a single dad and two young sons who have been living in their car, a grandmother responsible for driving her grandchildren 50 miles a day to and from school and to doctor’s appointments, a single mom needing transportation to her work as a hospice nurse, a couple living in one home with extended family while waiting to rebuild when their land is certified as clean, and a young woman who can now have both transportation and shelter in her pickup truck.

Thanks to more than 100 individual donations, generous contributions from many of our service clubs including the White Barn and also from our City Council, and the donations of two vehicles and two RVs (we were able to purchase an additional vehicle and RV), we have given six families not only some security for the present but hope for a brighter future. We wish all those who contributed could have shared their emotion, gratitude and joy when they received their vehicles. There were many stories, many hugs and many tears.

Dan and Valerie Moberg of Napa sold a trailer for well below market value. The Gotts donated a Honda Odyssey. Harvey Bantz of Napa donated a big motor home.

I want to express my personal gratitude to the RV to Paradise team who worked with such enthusiasm to make this happen, to our partners, the Federated Women of the Upper Napa Valley, and again to our community which has demonstrated such compassion for our neighbors. We were indeed able to help!

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