BLUE ASH, Ohio -- Members of the Matthew 25: Ministries Disaster Relief Team will make the five-day drive to California to aid in the recovery of the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California history.
The aid and disaster relief organization loaded two Tide Loads of Hope Laundry Units at its Blue Ash warehouse Friday ahead of the long journey. The units hold enough resources to wash 300 loads of laundry a day. The shipment also includes personal care kits, water, tarps and baby items. Ben Williams, the disaster relief coordinator, said it’s the little things people take for granted.
“When you don’t have anything, it’s such an item of need,” Williams said.
Items like toothbrushes and face masks are what victims in California need the most. The Camp Fire has destroyed about 9,700 homes and scorched 141,000 acres. Matthew 25: Ministries deployed one semi full of supplies on Nov. 9. The two units deployed Friday will be positioned near the disaster area so they can respond when it’s safe for team members.
“The wildfire initially is just kind of the first phase,” Williams said. “The second phase would be the health of the people who are in those conditions constantly.”
Williams said it’s important to recognize the volunteers who do their part by helping others but miss out on time with family around the holidays.
“We come back to our families and our lives are intact but the people that we’re helping don’t have that luxury,” he said.
More than 60 people have died in the California wildfires and more than 600 are missing.
Anyone can help in the disaster relief effort. Matthew 25: Ministries accepts cash, credit card and online donations. You can volunteer at the Blue Ash facility six days a week.