Posted on Tuesday, April 24th, 2018 at 12:30 pm by Debbie
Thomas Fire and Flood
During the height of the necklace giveaways, dozens of people came in for their necklaces daily. They met other survivors, told stories and found comfort with each other. They met neighbors they didn’t know and friendships even began (see the image of the three women, below). Universally, the necklace and the experience at Fox was special. Over 600 diamond necklaces were given away.
Shortly after, people wanted to purchase the Thomas Necklaces. We agreed to donate 50% of the sales to the United Way’s Thomas Fire and Flood Fund. Over $65,000 has been raised through necklace sales.
We heard hundreds of stories and watched as people began rebuilding their lives and homes. Here are a few of our favorites, along with some thank you cards we received:
One lady said that she always wears her necklace. Since you can read the “Ventura” right side up and upside down (try looking at it upside down if you haven’t), every time she looked down at her necklace, she saw Ventura smiling up at her and it gives her strength.
One teen saved her family in Montecito when she awoke to a thunderous noise. She looked out her window and saw a wave of mud rushing towards her. She quickly woke her family and they barely made it up their loft as the mud rushed through their home.
A teen who lost her home keeps the letter that came with the necklace close by. She says “Every time I read the card it makes me cry.” It’s a sad, but a good feeling cry.
An orchard was on fire, which abutted a family’s home. They rallied their friends and together they carried buckets of water and used dirt to put out spot fires. With fire around them, the group worked for hours, and saved their home. Later that month, they gratefully opened their home for a very special holiday party.
A client in our store didn’t lose her home to the fire, but had her own set of hardships. Another woman came in for her necklace crying as she shared her story. Without hesitation, the client walked over and pressed a $100 bill into her hand. The woman was so touched that after the client left, she said, “I am giving this $100 bill to someone else who lost their home.”
And lastly, owner Debbie Fox's story:
“The other day I drove by a burned down house and got out. Written in the soot on a charred wall was ‘We will be back.’ Suddenly, all of the stories I’ve heard at Fox Fine Jewelry from people who lost their homes came tumbling over me. I started to cry. I bawled. Heaving sobs. I cried for the sadness of all of us. A woman heard me and came out. She put her arms around me and I cried and cried as she held me. The diamond necklace? It’s like that lady’s arms around me. The gift of compassion.”
We've received some special Thank You cards - so special that we thought you'd enjoy them too!
On December 4, 2017, the Thomas Fire raged throughout Ventura County, devastating and destroying hundreds of homes. Then, on January 9, 2018, the Montecito debris flow devastated hundreds of homes and families. In the midst of these disasters and trying times, Fox Fine Jewelry decided to help with what we do best: make jewelry. We pledged to give a diamond necklace to everyone whose home was burned or flooded as a symbol of hope, community, and compassion. Fox Fine Jewelry designed necklaces specially for the areas hardest hit: the Ventura Wave, the Ojai Mountains, the Montecito Islands and the Thrive 805.
Once news spread, people wanted to purchase the necklaces, so Fox pledged to donate half of the proceeds to United Way’s Thomas Fire and Flood Fund. In the end, Fox gave away over 500 diamond necklaces and raised nearly $60,000 for those affected by the Thomas disasters. Through the project, Fox heard heartbreaking stories of loss and difficulty due to the fire. But we also heard countless uplifting stories too - our community rallying together, strangers helping strangers, and even friendships form as people connected in our store. This experience has been humbling, but also inspiring.