It may not be dominating national headlines any longer, but the effects of the devastating Lake, Sonoma and Napa County fires this fall are still deeply felt in our region. While the flames were contained at the beginning of November, the long and arduous process of recovery continues today and is sure to last well into the new year. Families who have lost everything are stuck in a painful struggle to put back together all that was lost and displaced when the fires swept across Northern California.

Those of us here in the Lake County area could not forget the horrors brought by the disaster, even if we wished to. The immediate danger may have passed but far too many of our neighbors remain hurt and in need. The demands of reestablishing a normal life are a major challenge thanks to this widespread devastation, and those of us who are able have a duty to step up and provide a helping hand. Our unending hope is that we can all provide assistance in ensuring that those hit hardest by this event can one day return to living their best lives possible.

It’s because so many of our neighbors and members of the greater Tribal family were touched by this awful cataclysm that we’ve given another donation towards returning our stricken community back to a healthy and stable existence. The United Pomo Nations Fire Victims Fund will be an incredibly helpful source of assistance to those who have suffered in the fires’ aftermath. At a recent fundraising dinner, the Habematolel Pomo proudly presented a $25,000 contribution to help with the Fund’s vital work.

This contribution will go directly towards the United Pomo Nations’ crucial work in helping victims of the devastation and aid in the return to normalcy. The organization, of which we are a proud part, is still young but determined to be a source of philanthropy and care for Pomo people in guiding our people towards a brighter shared future. Our commitment to providing a hand up to those in true need has never wavered, and we hope to be a help to those in dire need all throughout the Lake County area.

Among our most important responsibilities is maintaining a beneficial presence in the lives of our people. In such extraordinary circumstances, we know that it can be difficult to piece together a life again. Whatever amount we can help with doesn’t replace all that’s been lost, but we hope to provide a foundation to establish new growth. One day, it is our hope that those who have felt so strongly the devastation of these fires will have the ability to grow anew, a stirring outgrowth arising from the ashes.