Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version Share this


By Miriam Raftery

October 14, 2017 (El Cajon) –“The unimaginable destruction of the ongoing northern California wildfires that have taken homes, schools, and lives has proven devastating to thousands upon thousands of families,” says Nancy Padilla, one of three East County women organizing a caravan of relief supplies to help fire survivors. “The daily images from this historic disaster have been both heartbreaking and terrifying, leaving those affected with literally nothing in the way of personal possessions. This week we will be collecting much needed supplies that will be transported by us to the affected area next weekend, and hope that many of our friends and supporters will be able to contribute to our efforts. Every little bit will help, and however much you can spare, in whatever form you give it, is meaningful and will make a difference,” she adds.

Lisa Bond told East County Magazine, “We are taking trucks and trailers up to Sonoma on Friday.” She adds, “One of our truck drivers, Nicole Walker, drove an 18-wheeler to Houston. She is the one who wanted to put this together.”

Padilla provided the following list of items that you can donate. (Please note, no clothing or electronics wil be accepted. The primary emphasis is gathering the following new or gently used items for those in need.)

Basic Toiletries & Personal Hygiene Products

Packaged underwear and socks

Air mattresses

Protective face masks

Diapers (adult and child)

Cleaning supplies

Rubber gloves

Blankets and towels

Over the counter medications

Walkers, canes, push carts, wheel chairs, shower chairs

Reading glasses

Baby supplies


“Older children and teenagers are often overlooked. Please think of what your own children would need if faced with similar circumstances,” she adds. “Items like backpacks, school supplies, sports equipment and cosmetics are only the beginning of items most certainly needed, we will accept any other necessities that come to mind for this age group (excluding electronics).”

Likewise we will also be collecting supplies for people’s pets. We know that Petco and Petsmart provide enormous amounts of dog and cat food, so we instead want to place emphasis on the following items which are oftentimes overlooked:

Kitty litter and litter boxes

Piddle pads


Bird, turtle, rabbit, hamster food

Food and Water Bowls

Pet beds

Alpha and Bermuda hay

Straw and food for farm animals


“We are also accepting money donations for gas (Visa cards, not brand-specific gas stations) and would like to give a shout out to Bond’s Automotive for stepping up to sponsor a portion of our fuel costs for this undertaking,” Padilla notes. “Our transport will be leaving this coming Friday, October 20th; we have three box cars, two pickup trucks, a horse trailer and a 21 foot flatbed trailer to transport all donations collected this coming week. We are networking with private groups that will cherish and honor our donations, ensuring they are delivered immediately to those most in need. Thanking you in advance for any donations you’re able to contribute, let’s all do what we can as a community to help our neighbors to the north! “


Goods can be brought by Thursday night to either 10487 Quail Canyon Road (off Lake Jennings Park Road off Interstate 8) or to Bond’s Automotive & Collision at 7215 El Cajon Blvd., near SDSU.


Should you have any further questions on items to donate, please call Lisa at 619-871-1117 for further information.

Error message

Local news in the public interest is more important now than ever, during the COVID-19 crisis. Our reporters, as essential workers, are dedicated to keeping you informed, even though we’ve had to cancel fundraising events. Please give the gift of community journalism by donating at https://www.eastcountymedia.org/donate.