APACHE COUNTY — November 8, 2018, is a day that thousands of people will never forget, including one family that now lives in the Vernon area.
Candi Campbell-Roll and her children were already in the process of moving and had left her Grandmother and 12-year-old daughter, Jazzie, behind so that she could finish out the school year.
Candi’s grandmother and daughter along with 27,000 other people fled as the town of Paradise, California, burned around them. Driving through the flames, raining ash, exploding propane tanks and even people running away from their cars that had caught fire, this brave grandmother and child made their way into Chico, California.
A total of 50,000 people fled the area. Quiet communities in the Sierra foothills, towns like Paradise were 90% destroyed (Pulga 90% destroyed, Concow nearly 100% destroyed, Magalia 30% destroyed), all within hours, they were nearly wiped off the face of the earth.
Karen Crook, president of the Paradise Host Lions club, had monitored a Facebook page called Paradise Fire Adopt-A-Family for several months now, looking for ways to help. On this page families that are affected by the Camp Fire can post a list of needs, just talk about their experience and share information about resources available. There are also ‘helpers,’ people that want to offer encouragement, or see if they can provide the asked for items that the families need. On April 26, Karen was looking over posts on the Paradise Fire Adopt-A-Family page and came across a post from Candi Campbell-Roll stating that she was in need of a wheelchair for her 12-year-old daughter, Jazzie who has juvenile arthritis, as her wheelchair was destroyed in the fire along with many other items. In the post, she mentioned that her family had relocated due to the Camp Fire that nearly destroyed Paradise.
Karen immediately contacted Candi to get more information and would try to assist getting a wheelchair for her daughter, Jazzie. Finding out that Candi had moved to the White Mountain, Arizona area. Several calls later was able to make connect with Phyllis Clark from the Show Low Lions Club, we were going to be able to help the family.
The local Lions were able to make contact with the family, was even able to gather information about the availability of wheelchairs in the area. After several emails, calls and texts the decision on how best to help the family was made. A grant became available from the International Lions Foundation and a wheelchair was shipped to the Show Low Lions. Finding that the other children in the family had special needs as well, a referral was made to the Lions Sight & Hearing Foundation in Phoenix.
The Paradise Host Lions Club has worked very hard to meet the needs of families affected by the Camp Fire. They have received grants from Lions Club International Foundation, the California Lions Foundation and donations from Lions Clubs around the world. They continue to reach out when possible and have been able to meet many needs of the families affected by this devastating fire. The work is far from done, there are still hundreds if not thousands of families that are without homes and the most basic of needs met.
The Lions continue to serve and strive to meet the needs of people displaced by the Camp Fire in California and service the White Mountain Community.