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.

True

Davina Agudelo was born in Miami, Florida, but she grew up in Medellín, Colombia.

"I am so grateful for my upbringing in Colombia, surrounded by mountains and mango trees, and for my Colombian family," Agudelo says. "Colombia is the place where I learned what's truly essential in life." It's also where she found her passion for the arts.

While she was growing up, Colombia was going through a violent drug war, and Agudelo turned to literature, theater, singing, and creative writing as a refuge. "Journaling became a sacred practice, where I could leave on the page my dreams & longings as well as my joy and sadness," she says. "During those years, poetry came to me naturally. My grandfather was a poet and though I never met him, maybe there is a little bit of his love for poetry within me."

In 1998, when she left her home and everyone she loved and moved to California, the arts continued to be her solace and comfort. She got her bachelor's degree in theater arts before getting certified in journalism at UCLA. It was there she realized the need to create a media platform that highlighted the positive contributions of LatinX in the US.

"I know the power that storytelling and writing our own stories have and how creative writing can aid us in our own transformation."

In 2012, she started Alegría Magazine and it was a great success. Later, she refurbished a van into a mobile bookstore to celebrate Latin American and LatinX indie authors and poets, while also encouraging children's reading and writing in low-income communities across Southern California.

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via via Facebook/Julie Marburger

Teachers may be educating the future of America, but they are often underpaid, underappreciated, and overworked.

Julie Marburger, a sixth-grade teacher at Cedar Creek Intermediate School in Texas, went viral after she aired her frustrations with students, parents, and administrators on Facebook. The post was later deleted.

I left work early today after an incident with a parent left me unable emotionally to continue for the day. I have already made the decision to leave teaching at the end of this year, and today, I don't know if I will make it even that long. Parents have become far too disrespectful, and their children are even worse. Administration always seems to err on the side of keeping the parent happy, which leaves me with no way to do the job I was hired to do...teach kids.

I am including photos that I took in my classroom over the past two days. This is how my classroom regularly looks after my students spend all day there. Keep in mind that many of the items damaged or destroyed by my students are my personal possessions or I purchased myself, because I have NO classroom budget. I have finally had enough of the disregard for personal and school property and am drawing a line in the sand on a myriad of behaviors that I am through tolerating. Unfortunately, one parent today thought it was wrong of me to hold her son accountable for his behavior and decided to very rudely tell me so, in front of her son.

Marburger included these photos of her classroom in disarray, including torn up text books, broken bookshelves, and a piece of chewed-up gum stuck to a window.


via Facebook/Julie Marburger



via Facebook/Julie Marburger



via Facebook/Julie Marburger



via Facebook/Julie Marburger



via Facebook/Julie Marburger



via Facebook/Julie Marburger



via Facebook/Julie Marburger


Report cards come out later this week, and I have nearly half of my students failing due to multiple (8-10) missing assignments. Most of these students and their parents haven't seemed to care about this over the past three months, though weekly reports go out, emails have been sent and phone calls have been attempted.

But now I'm probably going to spend my entire week next week fielding calls and emails from irate parents, wanting to know why I failed their kid. My administrator will demand an explanation of why I let so many fail without giving them support, even though I've done practically everything short of doing the work for them. And behavior in my class will deteriorate even more. I am expecting this, because it is what has happened at the end of every other term thus far.

Marburger explained that it was her dream to be a teacher, but in just two short years, the job has beaten her down so much that she is ready to call it quits.

In the end, Marburger offered a little advice to parents:

People absolutely HAVE to stop coddling and enabling their children. It's a problem that's going to spread through our society like wildfire. It's not fair to society, and more importantly, is not fair to the children to teach them this is okay. It will not serve them towards a successful and happy life.

Many will say I shouldn't be posting such things on social media...that I should promote education and be positive. But I don't care anymore. Any passion for this work I once had has been wrung completely out of me. Maybe I can be the voice of reason. THIS HAS TO STOP.

Before it was deleted, Marburger's Facebook post was shared over 350,000 times, and garnered tons of support from fellow educators who sympathize with her position.

"This is exactly why my wife walked away from finishing her teaching degree. You'll have my respect if you take a stand and tell your administration that you aren't coming back tomorrow or ever again. Someone has to draw the line and start making the statement that spineless administrators are going to have to stop kissing entitled parents asses," wrote one person.

"I'm with you girl. You read my mind. I was in the exact same shoes yesterday. I left in tears too and most kids saw me. Many of them were sympathetic but some cheered and said they were happy i was leaving as I walked by crying. I, like you spend about 20 hours outside my contract time a week doing everything I can to be the best teacher possible and spend hundreds of dollars out of my own pocket every year to have the supplies I need to give these kids the best educational experience possible," posted another.

"I thought I could make it another 7 weeks," the posted continued. "But after yesterday I'm not sure. I'm taking today and tomorrow off to figure out my options. I'll keep you in my prayers. Please do the same for me!"