A couple weeks ago at Autodesk university I ran into a longtime friend and colleague. He was at AU with his wife and two cute young daughters. I found out his home was one of the thousands destroyed in Santa Rosa California last year. It was heartbreaking to hear all of the details of what he and his family went through, but it gets more difficult. Many like his family were left paying monthly mortgage payments for a home that no longer exists and looking for a rental to live in and the rent prices skyrocketed due to demand and then the government bureaucracy of assistance. Insurance doesn't always pay replacement costs should you lose your home. He even witnessed people take what remained of his old home including taking his metal mailbox which was one of the only things remaining standing.
So this colleague just started pouring the foundation of his home back at the old home lot and hopes to get his home complete someday. Given all that he and his family had gone through, his biggest focus was on the people affected by the recent fires as he knows personally what they are going through and are facing. He and former neighbors were arranging supplies and donations to the affected cities. I was humbled and left feeling uncomfortably fortunate. After that discussion I have thought a lot at how I could assist people in their tough times of loss and made a Red Cross donation and hope you too will consider helping others who lost property or loved ones in the devastating fires in California.