Sonoma and Napa Wildfires

A Letter to the Regional Sangha about the Sonoma and Napa Wildfires
With the developing wildfires in Sonoma and Napa counties, I know that many of you are wondering how our Shambhala community is doing and that many of you are in the middle of it right now having evacuated your homes. The following is a short update as well as a survey and list of ways to help. Clearly, this is a massive disaster that will take a time to unfold and heal, so this email is just a beginning.

After a number of phone calls yesterday and this morning from Santa Rosa and Sonoma center leadership we believe that all of our Shambhala sangha members are safe. Roughly ten have had to evacuate because their homes are in danger and are staying with friends, and one sangha couple lost their home and most of their possessions. We hope to find ways to support them as the situation unfolds, but want to respect their privacy and space right now as they are cared for and sheltered by local sangha members.

That being said the fires are still not contained and the situation is still very much unfolding for many people who have evacuated or may need to evacuate, and we will not know the full extent of the damage until the fires are contained.

Although we have attempted to be thorough with our phone calls if you are in the fire affected areas and need support in any way, please respond directly to this email and we will call you.

If you would like to help those Shambhala community members affected by the fires or if you are affected by the fires and would like to request a certain kind of support please feel free to fill out this survey.

In general, if you would like to support the many communities affected by the situation please see the following links that share ways to help:

Extra Food Facebook page has information on how to contribute and lend a hand. They are San Rafael based and are posting regular updates on what is needed. They seem to primarily be working with evacuees staying in Marin County.

CNVL Center for Volunteer and Nonprofit Leadership in Marin and Napa can help you get connected with volunteer efforts.

This article How to Help, Sonoma County has additional resources and information.

Personally, it has been inspiring to hear of our community members bravely working with the situation and supporting one another and the greater community at this time. Clearly, this is a time for all of us to be generous of heart and hand. Whether through prayer, compassionate meditation or direct service please hold all of those affected in your heart.

Cody McGough
Regional Director
Northern California Shambhala