Community that has been there raises money for Paradise fire relief |

Community that has been there raises money for Paradise fire relief

Submitted by Gita Matlock
From left, Jay Matlock, Vali Habekoss and Tulsi Matlock display Christmas cards benefiting Paradise fire relief at the Living Wisdom School holiday concert at Ananda Village near Nevada City.
Photo courtesy of Barbara Bingham

A community that once lost everything in a fire is now raising money for victims of the Paradise Camp Fire.

Ananda Village, a yoga and meditation community outside of Nevada City, and its private pre-kindergarten through 12th grade Living Wisdom School, is selling Christmas cards to benefit fire victims. Families and friends of students purchased the first batch on Dec. 11 at the school’s holiday concert.

Each card costs $2, with all proceeds going to the North Valley Community Foundation’s Camp Fire Relief Fund in Chico. The village hopes to raise at least $5,000 from the sale.

Ananda Village was all but destroyed in a devastating fire in 1976, just eight years after its founding. The 450-acre wildfire tore through the San Juan Ridge, incinerating all but one of the village’s 22 houses. There was one fatality, a pilot who crash landed from a heart attack while dropping flame retardant. Residents, including families with children, were left to scramble to find temporary shelter, clothes and all basics to get their lives back on track.

The community was deeply touched at the time by the generous financial help they received not only from friends but from strangers, who provided jobs and cash. Some spiritual groups even sent people to help the village rebuild. Now they’re giving back.

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The Camp fire broke out Nov. 8 destroying the 27,000-population town of Paradise and nearby communities of Concow and Magalia and killing nearly 90.

Ananda Village, with a population of 200, is the first of eight residential yoga and meditation communities located in the U.S., India and Italy. For more information, visit Cards are $2 each and are available through Dec. 21 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday at the Ananda Village Office, located across from Master’s Market and Bakery at 14618 Tyler Foote Road, Nevada City. The text on each Christmas gift card reads: “A gift has been given with you in mind, to the North Valley Community Foundation to support those affected by the Paradise Fire. Have a blessed Christmas!” One hundred percent of proceeds go directly to the Camp Fire Relief Fund.

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