As board chairperson of Casa de Esperanza, I feel a need to give a shout-out to the many community members who have stepped up in response to the recent fire of our facility.
No one really knows how loved they are until a tragedy strikes. That is how the staff and board members of Casa de Esperanza feel. We are simply amazed at the outpouring of support and donations from community partners.
Domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse have long been silent problems until there is an event that ends up on the front page of the newspaper. Women and children are ashamed and hide their problems from friends and family. They aren't standing on the street corner with signs saying "Help me." Casa de Esperanza has given families a way to take refuge and find support while they learn how to cope with their situation and make necessary life changes.
The Appeal's Forum column has encouraged local service clubs and other organizations to "give big" to Casa de Esperanza, and meet the challenge of the Marysville Kiwanis Club for other service clubs to donate to Casa. We appreciate the Appeal keeping Casa in the forefront of the community's minds.
One of the biggest organizations to step up and help Casa has been Rideout Health. Rideout didn't write a big check to Casa, but what they did may be bigger. They donated a temporary home for our clients and staff. They took a vacant building and in one week modified it to accommodate our needs and make us comfortable in a time of need. They said "stay as long as you need to." That is priceless.
Because of the findings during the investigation of the fire at Casa de Esperanza, it was determined previously encapsulated asbestos and lead have been compromised, resulting in contamination of most of the building and furnishings. Although Casa has insurance for the building contents, most of this will be consumed by clean-up with little left for replacement of equipment and furnishings. The clean-up and rebuilding will be a long-term process.
Casa de Esperanza was in need of a new facility before the fire, as we had outgrown the current one. We were in the process of searching for and raising funds for a new home. We will still be focusing on that going forward, perhaps now with more urgency.
Community members have been generous with donations of "stuff" for which we have no room in our current temporary location. Although we appreciate the generosity, what is really needed is money. Several community leaders have stepped up and are organizing fundraisers in the upcoming weeks and months. We invite you to be a part of these events as you continue to support Casa de Esperanza. Refer to our Facebook page: Casa de Esperanza — Yuba City, where we will post notifications of events.
Thank you to the Yuba-Sutter-Colusa community for your continued support of Casa de Esperanza and our mission.
Karen Tabler is chairperson of the Casa de Esperanza Board of Directors.