BC sends Napa Valley College and Santa Rosa College a signed card

Alexandra Apatiga, Reporter

Since early October 2017, several wildfires across the state of California have been burning, and causing catastrophic damage to the land, destroying hundreds of homes.

The most impacted by the fires has been Northern California’s wine country, including Napa and Sonoma County, home to Napa Valley College and Santa Rosa Junior College.

Here at Bakersfield College, students were given the opportunity to offer support by signing cards to be sent to Santa Rosa Junior and Napa Valley College.

Like Bakersfield, Napa and Santa Rosa each have a local community college which provides students the opportunity to transfer to a higher institution for education or immediately enter the workforce within two years.

But this year’s semester was cut short following multiple fires near Sonoma and Napa County which displaced thousands of residents, including students, faculty and staff.

In Napa County alone, 592 homes have been destroyed and in Santa Rosa more than 500 students and faculty lost their homes.

As of Oct. 27, the Tubbs, Atlas and Nuns Fire are still burning in Sonoma and Napa County with containment at more than 90 percent.

Despite heavy losses, both communities have bounced back thanks to the support of local efforts and support from neighboring areas.

Monika Scott, Marketing and PR Manager at Bakersfield College, shared how she and fellow staff were finding ways to help their fellow community colleges.

“It was important for us to offer one small way that everyone could contribute to the tremendous outpouring of love and support” said Scott as she explained the idea of sending signed cards to the schools.

She added that these fires will likely leave lasting marks on these communities for years to come. “Through various stories, we see small snapshots of what the situation is like, but it is hard to imagine all the various ways in which the effects will leave an impact as a whole.”

“The California community college system is a family, and our campuses across the state are united in a shared goal of making higher education attainable for all.”

Scott hopes that these cards, while minimal, will show those who’ve been effected the love and support they need.

She also shared various other ways students at Bakersfield College could help in the midst of this natural disaster. Such as making donations to the SRJC Relief Fund, that helps in assisting students’ needs related to the fire, the Napa Valley Community College Foundation, and donating to local food pantries.

Both Santa Rosa Junior College and Napa Valley College have resumed their class schedules as of mid-October.