Local homebuilder provides aid to Camp Fire victims

Employees donate essentials to Salvation Army and evacuees
By: Rachel Zirin, Senior Reporter
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In the wake of the Camp Fire that devastated Paradise, Woodside Homes’ Northern California Division employees collaborated to provide aid to their neighbors to the north.

Employees collected clothing such as jackets, socks, slippers, shoes and underwear, in addition to blankets, pillows, cots, yoga mats and diapers, which was donated to evacuees prior to Thanksgiving. This division of the national homebuilder, which is headquartered in Utah, also provided Safeway and Visa gift cards to evacuees staying in Folsom area hotels who are partnering with the Folsom Chamber of Commerce to provide accommodations. 

Toni Turnbull, marketing manager of Woodside Homes’ Northern California Division, and her son and his girlfriend drove 115 miles to Chico on Nov. 18 to deliver the goods to various collection centers and temporary shelters.

“There is something about working for a homebuilder that makes us feel especially compelled to assist those who have lost their homes, and their gratitude is heartwarming,” Turnbull said. “With Thanksgiving approaching, we wanted to do anything we could to make a difference for those impacted by this terrible disaster. We took the donations we collected and purchased, plus 60 cases of water, to two Salvation Army locations in Chico. This was made possible not only by our team, but also by several local businesses in Folsom who contributed more goods to deliver with our load.”

In addition to the two Salvation Army locations, they visited a Walmart shopping center in Chico that has sheltered evacuees to deliver fresh coffee and blankets. Turnbull had the opportunity to interact with several fire victims who left quite an impression about how basic their needs are.

“I spoke to one individual who asked for the cup of coffee I was drinking, so I happily obliged,” she said. “He needed it more than I did. I met an older lady in a wheelchair who was shivering from the cold weather, and all she wanted was a blanket, so I gave her my blanket we were using in the van.”

In keeping with this spirit of giving, the Northern California Division of Woodside Homes is partnering with the local “Adopt-a-Family” program for the purpose of donating holiday presents to the children of two families.

In the next few weeks, the homebuilder’s employees will partake in a festive gift-wrapping session followed by delivery of the presents to the families.

“Each Woodside Homes division throughout California, Utah, Nevada and Arizona is committed to local philanthropic efforts, and we are thankful to our employees who rose to the occasion,” Turnbull said. “We hope the victims of these recent California wildfires can return to some semblance of normalcy soon and find warmth and comfort with loved ones during the holiday season.”