People who lost everything in a wildfire sent unforgettable notes to the couple who started it.
Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images.

A page was set up for victims of the fire. It could have been ugly. It’s become something beautiful.

Wildfires continue to rage across Northern California, affecting families, businesses and the entire state.

To help families directly affected by the fires, a Facebook page was recently started where people affected by the Carr Fire could share their stories.


It would be entirely understandable if the page was full of angry letters, blaming the couple that has been cited as responsible for starting the blaze.

Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images.

According to local officials, the fire started after a horrible bit of bad luck: a trailer experienced a sudden flat tire - when the wheel’s metal collided with the pavement, it created sparks which then ignited a nearby bush. Devastation has ensued. City official’s are protecting the couple’s names as they are not at fault for the accident but could clearly become a target for retribution.

Instead, a community of people who have seen their lives turned upside down have largely responded with compassion, love and kindness.

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.

“It was an accident, nothing more. Please do not torment yourself.”

In interviews and on posts to the Carr Fire Stories Facebook page, the message has been clear: People are heartbroken. Lives have been lost. Countless damage has ensued and officials are overwhelmed trying to contain the blaze.

In a post on Care Fire Stories, the page’s administrators explained their mission:

We personally know someone who's mom is a neighbor to the man who's trailer accident led to #CarrFire. Many have been thinking and praying for this man. We learned that his wife is blaming herself for the #CarrFire, because she asked him to take the trailer in the first place. She has been crying day and night on her couch. Do you think we can show some grace and extend kindness (and even forgiveness) for the shame and despair that she is experiencing?

In the middle of all this tragedy, a beam of light is shining through. The responses from those with the most right to be angry say everything about the best in all of us:

Facebook

There is still so much work to be done to contain the fires and ultimately rebuild.

These families and communities will need all the help they can get to begin the long and challenging process of moving forward.

But they should also be applauded. In the face of tragedy they are using this moment to show the very best of us just when the world needs it most.

Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images.

Courtesy of Maketto

Maketto, a communal marketplace located in Washington D.C. that combines retail, restaurant and cafe experiences.

True

As the cold, dark days of winter carry on, restaurants all over the country are struggling to keep patrons coming in the proverbial door. Despite expensive and elaborate upgrades to help make restaurant dining safer, the one-two punch of the pandemic and frigid temperatures has done a number on restaurants' cash flow. Already, 17% of all restaurants in the United States have permanently closed since the start of the pandemic.

The National Restaurant Association described the industry as being "in an economic free-fall" in their plea to the U.S. House of Representatives, for some economic relief. If no help is received, they expect 58% of restaurants to continue furloughs and layoffs in the first quarter of the year.

There are, however, some big businesses doing their part to support the restaurant industry in its time of need. Capital One, for example, is taking a multi-pronged approach to helping the restaurant industry. One of those initiatives is providing over 30 restaurants nationwide with funding to safely and successfully winterize their outdoor dining options so they can stay open and keep their occupancy up.

"Restaurants are anchors in the communities in which we live and work, which is why we're providing them support so they can better access the tools they need to survive these difficult winter months," says Monica Bauder, Head of Cardholder Access at Capital One. "At Capital One, the dining industry has always been an important community to us and we want to continue to find ways to help them through this difficult time."

Keep Reading Show less

In countries throughout Asia, people ring in the Lunar New Year with cultural traditions as diverse as Asian people themselves. From China to Vietnam to Malaysia to South Korea—and in communities of people of Asian descent around the world—families gather to celebrate, pay homage to ancestors, and welcome in the blessings of a new year.

This year, however, such celebrations in the U.S. are impacted not only by the upheaval of the ongoing pandemic, but by fear in the wake of skyrocketing violence against people of Asian and Pacific Islander descent.

Hate crimes against Asian-Americans and Pacific-Islanders (AAPI) have been highlighted by advocacy groups since early in the pandemic, but have not received the broad media coverage they deserve. Unfortunately, it's taken vicious attacks on elders in the AAPI community to get the nation's attention.

Keep Reading Show less
Courtesy of Maketto

Maketto, a communal marketplace located in Washington D.C. that combines retail, restaurant and cafe experiences.

True

As the cold, dark days of winter carry on, restaurants all over the country are struggling to keep patrons coming in the proverbial door. Despite expensive and elaborate upgrades to help make restaurant dining safer, the one-two punch of the pandemic and frigid temperatures has done a number on restaurants' cash flow. Already, 17% of all restaurants in the United States have permanently closed since the start of the pandemic.

The National Restaurant Association described the industry as being "in an economic free-fall" in their plea to the U.S. House of Representatives, for some economic relief. If no help is received, they expect 58% of restaurants to continue furloughs and layoffs in the first quarter of the year.

There are, however, some big businesses doing their part to support the restaurant industry in its time of need. Capital One, for example, is taking a multi-pronged approach to helping the restaurant industry. One of those initiatives is providing over 30 restaurants nationwide with funding to safely and successfully winterize their outdoor dining options so they can stay open and keep their occupancy up.

"Restaurants are anchors in the communities in which we live and work, which is why we're providing them support so they can better access the tools they need to survive these difficult winter months," says Monica Bauder, Head of Cardholder Access at Capital One. "At Capital One, the dining industry has always been an important community to us and we want to continue to find ways to help them through this difficult time."

Keep Reading Show less

When Maryland Representative Jamie Raskin and his wife, Sarah Bloom, announced the death of their 25-year-old son Tommy on New Year's Eve, the whole nation mourned with them. Many also quietly wondered what had caused his death. It's not anyone's business, of course. But when a young, seemingly healthy person dies unexpectedly at home, the question lingers.

Rep. Raskin provided an honest answer to that question in a way that is both heartbreaking and perfect. In a statement published on Medium, Raskin and Bloom shared the details of Tommy's life so beautifully, it makes anyone who reads it feel like we knew him. It also exemplifies how to talk about a loved one who is taken by mental illness.

The statement opens:

Keep Reading Show less

Country music star Morgan Wallen made headlines recently when he was caught on video shouting a racist slur. After a night out, Wallen was filmed by a neighbor walking up his driveway, appearing intoxicated and yelling to someone with him, "Take care of this "p****-ass mother******!" followed by "Take care of this p****-ass n*****!"

Wallen faced immediate backlash, with radio stations pulling his music, his record label suspending him, his agency dropping him, and the Academy of Country Music Awards revoking his eligibility for its awards ceremony. Wallen apologized, telling TMZ, "I'm embarrassed and sorry. I used an unacceptable and inappropriate racial slur that I wish I could take back. There are no excuses to use this type of language, ever. I want to sincerely apologize for using the word. I promise to do better."

However, despite the negative PR, sales of his album began to skyrocket, as a bunch of his fans who don't have a problem with racial slurs rushed to stick it to "cancel culture" and make their own racism heard. Billboard reported that Wallen's "Dangerous: The Double Album" sold 25,000 copies in the week ending February 4—an increase of 102%.

Jason Isbell, a fellow country musician who wrote one of the songs on Wallen's album, shared his own brilliant response to the incident and sales surge on Twitter:

Keep Reading Show less