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Sonoma County veterans deliver $5,000 check for Camp Fire survivors

CHICO — Veterans from Sonoma County delivered a $5,000 check and a truckload of donations on Monday afternoon to benefit veterans affected by the Camp Fire.
They knew what was needed because they have been through it, too, with the Tubbs Fire in Santa Rosa in October 2017.
Joe Cholewa, a Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 223 in Santa Rosa board member, said that literally tons of donations poured in immediately after the Tubbs Fire — so much that some of it was stored and then given to Camp Fire victims. Cholewa was one of the visiting veterans who brought the check and truck full of everything from clothes and food to blankets and heaters.
“We already know what happened and how to do it,” he said.
Corena “Cricket” Dixen, donations coordinator for several local veterans groups, said this group had already visited several times to deliver donations for those affected by the fire. The gifts on Monday were delivered to Dixen’s home in Chico. Related Articles





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“These guys have been phenomenal from the beginning,” she said.
Butch Frederickson, a Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 582 member, received the check on Monday as well as a new, neatly folded American flag.
“Since the fire, we have gotten so much from so many places to help veterans,” Frederickson said.
Dixen said that many gift cards have been distributed thanks to contributions, to help meet immediate needs of local vets. Moving trucks from across the state have come with all types of necessities, and donations seem to just keep coming, even four months after the fire began.
“We’ve been telling people from the beginning — this isn’t a short-term thing,” she said.
Vietnam Veterans of America representatives present Monday said an estimated 240 veterans were displaced by the Camp Fire. Those who lost their homes, faced with a severe housing shortage, have had trouble finding a new place to live in Butte County
To help, local veterans groups have constructed three yurts so far for veterans and their families to live in, with more to come. They are located in Magalia and Concow.
To learn more about the yurt project, go to campfireyurts.com .

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