Green Bay Packers rush to raise funds for wildfire victims

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By Ludy Astraquillo Ongkeko, Ph.D.

Spurred by a crusade to raise funds for victims of the recent California wildfire — dubbed “the nation’s deadliest” — Wisconsin’s Green Bay Packers responded quickly to the need of the hour.

Quarterback Aaron Rodgers, a native of Northern California, stated very humbly, that he was donating $1 million to those “impacted” by the fire. In a message to his Twitter followers, he likewise said that State Farm Insurance would “donate a dollar for each re-tweet of his post, accompanied by the hashtag #RetweetForGood.”

Too, it was learned that the Packers created a GoFundMe page called #Packersplayersforcali, with a goal to raise $50,000. “The recent wildfires in California have been devastating to many. People have lost their lives, their homes, their most valued possessions and memories. They need our help,” says the message on the page.

According to reports, the fires killed at least 85 people and left 249 unaccounted for. Nearly 19,000 buildings, most of them classified as “homes,” are gone. It was reported that Packers Marcedes Lewis and Lance Kendricks, who have homes in Southern California, spearheaded the campaign.

“Several players on the Green Bay Packers have a real emotional connection to California. Some were born, raised and reside in California. Some attended school and played college football in California. Please help the Packers in their efforts to raise money to help those in California who are in desperate need of our assistance right now,” reads the GoFundMe campaign.

The GoFundMe campaign has so fair raised $11K from fans of the team.

The GoFundMe campaign has so fair raised $11K from fans of the team.

While the latest news is that the fire is “now 100 percent contained,” it does not mean the fire is totally extinguished. What it means is that a fire line has been out around the blaze, cutting it off from the trees and other fuel.

One member of the fire rescue team said the fire burned an area “roughly the size of Chicago.” Paradise, a town of 27,000 people mostly retirees, was quarantined and “essentially obliterated,” according to reports.

President Trump visited the fire-damaged area, offering sympathy for displaced people and firefighters, castigating California’s leadership over “poor forest management” and threatening to withhold federal money.

California Governor Jerry Brown repeatedly cited climate change as a factor. He warned that “things like this will be part of our future” as long as there are leaders who continue to deny and dispute unusual changes in weather patterns. It was reported that he had earlier requested a “Presidential Major Disaster Declaration” which would “make the hardest-hit communities eligible for housing, unemployment and other support programs, and allow state and local governments to repair and replace fire-damaged facilities and infrastructure.”

The rescue operations drew searchers from California counties: Marin, Contra Costa, Shasta, Kern, and members of the National California Conservation Corps. More than 153,000 acres were burned. There are 1,000 firefighters reportedly who remain on site, assisting with search and recovery efforts.

© The FilAm 2018

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