In the aftermath of California’s deadly Camp Fire, those who lost so much are just trying to piece things back together again.
It came at the worst time of year — just before the holidays. While people in other communities are decking their halls, many in California don’t have any halls — or homes — left.
But in the midst of tragedy, love and compassion are spreading even faster than the devastation ever could. Stories of random kindness and Good Samaritans seem to wait around every corner.
One couple from California knew they wanted to help in some way too. Kim and Annette Ringeisen are moving to North Carolina.
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Around 30 years ago, Netti and I visited my grandparents in Kaiserslautern and decided to stop by the AFFES Toyota dealer. We fell in love with a 4Runner that was on display. On soldiers pay, we knew it would be a dream only. We opened the hatch and sat in the back and talked about how awesome it will be when we could do this in a 4Runner we owned. Well, we have had many cars over the time and as we prepare for our next adventure of moving out to Northern California, we decided to trade in our car and get that 4Runner! Now our first “WeFi” sitting in the back of our 4Runner with many more planned as we go off and explore my birth state and west coast from Mexico to Alaska…Life lived to the fullest, goals achieved no matter how distant they appear, Love unconditional and amazing kids, family and friends to share it with…. Onward….
The cross-country trek is a long one. Rather than ship or haul everything with them, the Ringeisens decided there was something much better they could do with their possessions.
Kim Ringeisen, a combat veteran with 15 years of experience in the search and rescue field, saw firsthand the havoc of Camp Fire when he aided Paradise firefighters for over a week.
“I was searching about 100 homes in Paradise,” Ringeisen told KCRA. “This was unimaginable. We had to rewrite ways of doing things.”
It was Ringeisen’s front-and-center experience, and a story he and his wife saw about a firefighter who lost everything, that moved this couple to compassion.
In the season of giving, the Ringeisens have decided to donate pretty much everything they have to firefighters who lost their homes.
“There are about 40 firefighters who lost everything in the Camp Fire,” Kim Ringeisen told Inside Edition. Aside from sentimental items, this couple really did leave it all behind.
They also donated a storage unit’s worth of things to Goodwill. On top of that, Annette Ringeisen owns her own business — Woodboro. She handmakes dolls and blankets and other one-of-a-kind creations.
Since Christmas is near, Ringeisen decided to donate whatever she had already made as gifts for children affected by Camp Fire.
“My husband spent many days in Paradise involved in the recovery efforts, getting to know many of the people who were impacted and lost everything,” she wrote on her shop’s homepage.
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The recent Camp fire that has devastated the town of Paradise in Northern California left me wanting to do something. My husband spent many days involved in the recovery efforts, getting to know many of the people who were impacted and lost everything. There is not much I can do, but I decided to donate all dolls, toys, and knitted items that were in the store to the families that were left with nothing. #woolboro #ringalinadolls #dogood #iamthankful #waldorftoys #waldorfdolls
“There is not much I can do, but I decided to donate all dolls, toys, and knitted clothing items to the families that were left with nothing.”
This is a beautiful couple with two very big hearts. We wish them the best in their new life in North Carolina.
No doubt the firefighters and their families who received the donations feel thankful and blessed by the couple’s selfless act.
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