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Thinking of you

My heart is breaking over the disaster that occurred earlier this week. The people who live on Riverview have felt this very strongly, because they live where this terrible thing happened. Two houses burned to the ground, and two others were damaged. I heard that seven vehicles were also damaged or destroyed in this fire.

Without talking about blame, I want to let all of the people who were affected by the Riverview fire know how sorry I am that this happened, and I pray that something like this never happens again. My thoughts and prayers are with you at this time.

The people who live on Riverview Drive between Orchard Avenue and Central are the ones who are most affected, but our whole community is hurting over this terrible disaster that may have been prevented. I am thankful that no injuries or deaths have been reported, and that is a blessing. However, the hearts that have been damaged will take a long time to heal. The fire fighters were there in droves, as were the police and city officials, and many concerned citizens.

For those who lost their homes, I hope this community will come together to offer help as well as condolence. It’s hard to know how to help, but we may start with reaching out and sending a card.

I don’t know the names of the residents of the burned homes, but the addresses for the totally destroyed homes are 1705 Riverview Drive, and 1709 Riverview Drive (zip is 93637). I realize postage is high, but you cannot imagine what a “Thinking of You” card will do for people who have just experienced loss. Send a card every day for a month. This will keep them in your minds. So often after all the dust settles on a catastrophe or a loss, people feel forgotten. Let them know you have not forgotten them.

Compassion for others is a gift, and if we nurture that gift, we find the blessings we give to others also comes back to us.

While you are thinking of those who have lost their homes, also remember the first responders, and be thankful for them, the men and women who come selflessly to help in times of disaster such as this one. This includes the fire fighters, the police, ambulances, and city officials. Help them to know how much you appreciate them and the fact that they would come on a second’s notice.

The firefighters that came to the Riverview fire were from the City of Fresno, Merced County, and Madera County, as well as CalFire. They were all here to help us in Madera.

I am thankful for this community that comes together to help and show compassion for those who have been hurt. Remember to love your neighbor as yourself.

— My love to all,


• • •

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”

— John 13:34


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