Our Community Donated Over $50K to Camp Fire Victims — Here's Where the Money Went
A few days after I started working at Good Eggs, we held our annual Thanksgiving staff meal, where the executive team serves turkey and all the fixings to hundreds of employees. We had some special guests joining us this year, including Kevin Thompson and Keesha Hills from the Oroville Southside Community Improvement Association (OSCIA). They had become our partners up north, helping distribute more than a thousand meals that Good Eggs employees volunteered to pack and drive to Oroville in the wake of the Camp Fire.
Those meals were made possible by members of our community who donated graciously to help victims of the fire. The goal of the fundraiser — to bring some comfort and familiarity to families who had just lost everything — was pretty simple. But after all those meals had been packed, transported, and enjoyed, we had some money left over. Actually a lot of money — more than $50,000.
We were eager to get those funds into the hands of local community leaders who would best know how to use them. So once everybody had polished off healthy helpings of turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, and pie at the Good Eggs Hub, we surprised Kevin and Keesha with a check for the remainder of the donations. There were plenty of watery eyes and hugs, and we parted company confident that the money our community donated was not just in good hands, but the best hands.
It’s been more than seven months since the Camp Fire started. More than a thousand families displaced by the blaze have yet to find even temporary housing, according to NPR. And that’s in a region that’s already been dealing with a growing homelessness crisis for some time.
But Kevin, Keesha, and the OSCIA have a plan.
They’ve started a project called Haven of Hope on Wheels, which operates Mobile Hygiene Units, giving displaced fire victims and other homeless people the chance to take a hot shower (clean towels included) and wash a load of laundry — things that seem minor, but can go a long way toward restoring someone’s dignity. The program is funded with the money donated by the Good Eggs Community, a $175,000 grant from the City of Oroville, and private donations from other fundraisers and sponsors.
I attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony last week, when the first unit was unveiled and celebrated by the community. Local leaders, like the mayor and members of the city council, kicked off the event with speeches. Kevin, who’s a pastor and is always booming with optimism and grace, spoke to the crowd about the boost the Mobile Hygiene Unit will give the community, and how a shower and some clean clothes can give someone enough confidence to take the next step toward getting the help they need.
“Everything you’ve given, it’s going to a worthy cause,” Kevin said. “Washers and dryers and showers for individuals who are looking for the most basic right we all have, and that’s to take a shower and be clean.”
The Mobile Hygiene Unit itself is brand new, comfy, and cozy. There are three private bathrooms with showers, and a laundry room with two washers and dryers. With the money that’s been raised so far, Kevin will be able to operate the unit three days a week for six months, but the goal is to keep raising funds so the unit can serve even more people throughout the area — hopefully two locations a day, five days per week. Visit Haven of Hope on Wheel’s website if you’d like to donate or volunteer.
At the Good Eggs Hub, we have a mantra written on the walls: good food is the most powerful force for change. It’s more than something we believe in — it’s a big part of the reason we all work here. The outpouring of goodwill from our community after the Camp Fire is another example of that mantra at work. A small fundraiser to feed fire victims turned into a long-term plan to help families displaced by the fire get their lives back on track. And it all started with a meal.