Last Update - Ways to Help, Resources on Campus

Dear Saint Mary's Community,

This will be my last update regarding the impact of wild fires on our community unless there is a change in circumstances. Thanks to all who have sent forward the names of students who are directly or indirectly impacted by loss of homes or missing classes in the past week. We continue to seek information about SMC students, staff, faculty and their families who are fire-affected. Please contact Jane Camarillo (jc11@stmarys-ca.edu) if you have other names.

Our SEAS Coaches have reached out to all identified students via email or personal contact and offered academic support (e.g. making contact with faculty instructors or connecting students to other resources). We will continue to do this since this is an ever changing situation.

I also want to confirm that Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) will extend the drop-in groups for students impacted who simply want to share with other students who have been touched by the fires in Northern or Southern California. The drop-in group will be held today and Monday at 4 p.m. and on Tuesday at 5 p.m. at the CAPS office in Augustine Hall across from Filippi Academic Hall. It is very informal, just an opportunity to connect with other students and share.

We continue to monitor the conditions on campus and if there is a dramatic change, I will be communicating via email and GaelAlert. If you have not registered for GaelAlert, please go to GaelXpress and update your information. Additionally, if you have not signed up for Nixle but want to have alerts from the local agencies on our status of the Lamorinda area, please register as a resident to get push alerts here.  For those who have upper respiratory issues (e.g. asthma), the Health and Wellness Center (HWC) did receive more N95 particulate masks so please stop by HWC to pick one up.

Lastly, for those who are seeking ways to get involved as we approach the weekend, please see the message from Prof. Shawny Anderson, CILSA, Mission and Ministry, and Sustainability@SMC below for ways to help:

"As the fires in the North Bay continue to place homes, people, and wildlife at risk, our College community continues to identify pathways to respond that honor both the immediacy of our emotional desire to "do something" and the requests of organizations who are most equipped to tell us what they need. In this email, we offer the latest developments and a call to action.

If you would like to donate (money or goods) or volunteer (services) to fire relief, please go to our Fire Relief webpage and use the “Lend Your Support” button to let us know your interests and abilities (or find the form here).

In addition to our own SMC community members, we are in touch with the following agencies that have expressed specific needs for our help:

SMC alumna Ali Archer ’14 works at Food for Thought food bank in Santa Rosa, which is serving as a drop-in shelter along with its usual functions.  

SMC Alum Alex Drake '16 has put us in touch with representatives of Cardinal Newman High School, which was lost in the fire. At least 50 families from Cardinal Newman have lost their homes and possessions. At a later date, we will do a clothing drive for specific sizes of clean new or gently used items. Check the Fire Relief page for more details on what the needs are.

If you would like to provide any of these items or to donate money for the purchase of those items, please contact Shawny Anderson at sanderso@stmarys-ca.edu. A group will gather this Sunday to organize the first wave of donations/purchases. Please be sure to contact Shawny before noon on Sunday if you would like for your money or items to be used in this first delivery."

Thanks in advance for your continued support of our students and their families and members of our broader community during this troubling time.

Jane Camarillo