Land and Water Coffee is proud to call Santa Rosa, California our home. Nestled in the middle of beautiful Sonoma County, it’s a place with rolling hills of vineyards, incredible restaurants, breweries, coffee houses, and beautiful parks with hiking and biking trails. It’s also home to 483,878 people. The night of Sunday, October 8th, 2017, wildfires began all through Sonoma County and much of the North Bay Area. By Monday morning, huge neighborhoods in Santa Rosa were burning, thousands of families were evacuating the city, and firefighters from all around the Bay Area were streaming in to help.
As the days went on, the numbers of missing persons, lost homes and businesses, and deaths kept rising. Thousands of people had been evacuated from their homes, not knowing if they would still be standing when they returned. No one slept much, full of adrenaline and worry, waiting for updates. The community of Sonoma County was shaken to its core.
Through week two, containment percentages for the Tubbs Fire went up and the adrenaline started to slow. The realization of how hurt the community was started to set in. It hit that though the fires were almost out, the work had only just begun. Experts estimated $3.3 billion in damage. The fires scorched 245,000 acres, taking down 8,889 structures with it. Coffey Park, a well-populated neighborhood in Northwest Santa Rosa, was the largest center of devastation. It will take years for the area to rebuild. Our hearts and prayers go out to the families who lost loved ones in this tragedy. 42 people died in Sonoma County alone.
The silver lining through this horrific time is the incredible camaraderie that has happened within Sonoma County. All through October and November, you’d see signs hung from overpasses up and down Highway 101, thanking the thousands of firefighters, police, and first responders who came from all over the country to help. People opened their homes to strangers, offering warm meals, hot showers, and spare bedrooms to those who had been displaced. Donation centers were filled to the brim within a few days. The phrases “Sonoma Strong” and “The Love in the Air is Thicker Than the Smoke” are seen not only on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, but on T-shirts and signs posted on the streets. In December, friendly strangers put up Christmas Trees on almost every empty lot in Coffey Park. Christmas lights and decorations adorned the remaining trees and signs, and there were multiple Holiday events for the Coffey Park community to gather and participate in. This tragedy is far from over, but Sonoma County is stronger than ever. Land and Water Coffee is proud to be a part of such a generous and loving community.
If you’re interested in helping the thousands of people who lost everything, we’re offering two special roasts—Coffey Park Ethiopia and Coffey Park Brazil. 100% of sales from each bag will go directly to the Redwood Credit Union North Bay Fire Relief Fund, getting it into the hands of those who need it most. This is made possible by the generous people at Olam Specialty Coffee and OurCoffees, who donated the green coffee to help fundraise for the fire victims. The Redwood Credit Union North Bay Fire Relief Fund gives 100% of every donation directly to the victims, helping them feed their children, clothe themselves, find temporary or permanent housing, and help them start to rebuild their lives.
The Coffey Park coffees were a short-term, limited release offering and are no longer available. Thanks to those who were able to support by purchasing one of these offerings—we were able to donate $1,120 to the The North Bay Fire Relief Fund earlier this year. You can learn more about the RCU fund here.
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