San Diegans are rallying to raise money for families in Mexico whose homes and belongings were reduced to ash by fires burning across northwestern Baja California.
Fires near Tecate, Tijuana, Rosarito and Ensenada killed three people over the weekend and destroyed more than 200 homes, including the one Claudia Macias and her cancer-stricken 8-year-old son lived in in Tijuana.
“There’s nothing. There’s nothing there,” Yolanda Guzman Kelly, friend of the Masillas family, said about their home.
Kelly also told NBC 7 about the Rodriguez family who tried their hardest to protect their Ensenada ranch from torrid flames but ultimately couldn’t stand up to the strong Santa Ana winds. They were able to evacuate and get all their livestock to safety, but now that there property is decimated they have little means to take care of themselves and their horses and chickens.
“I mean she was just crying. She was crying and that’s why I’m doing this because with what little we can do if we all put dollar by dollar by dollar, I think we can get people started,” Kelly said.
After hearing about the heartbreak facing the two families, as well as the devastation that flipped so many other families’ lives upside down, Kelly decided to see if she could rally her community in San Diego and beyond to try and help her neighbors south of the border.
She started a GoFundMe page on Saturday and has been encouraging people to make donations that will go toward basic shelter, food and hygiene needs.
Meanwhile, an Otay Mesa shipping company is using its warehouses and trucks to send donations across the border. They started with shipments of water for firefighters, volunteers and displaced residents, and now they’re collecting building materials to help get roofs over people’s heads.
Anyone looking to drop off donations can do so at Express Service Transport Inc at 2215 Paseo de las Americas or at R.L. Jones Customhouse Brokers Inc. at 8830 Siempre Viva Rd, Suite 100. All goods except textiles are being accepted. They also have their own GoFundMe link.