Can’t See the Forest for the . . . . . . . . . . Smoke

by Cindy Huge, Red Cross Public Affairs Volunteer

Sherry Pilion moved from Georgia to California four years ago to care for her aging mother. As they were looking for a home that would accommodate the two of them, a local woman, who recognized how loving and caring Pilion was to her mother, offered them her home, with all the furniture included, to rent.

“The views from this home are amazing. Each morning I sit on the deck sipping my tea as I listen to the birds sing and view beautiful Lake Isabella,” remarked Pilion.

“They helped us secure our dog and placed him in a very nice air conditioned trailer.”

Unfortunately, her view this past week has been only smoke filled air and almost invisible mountains. She and her mother were forced from their home by the French Fire, and her views are limited to what she can see from inside of an American Red Cross shelter.

The safety of her mother is Pilion’s top priority. When she received the Ready Kern Alert to evacuate, she quickly grabbed their medications, important papers, a few clothes, and her mom’s dog “Randy.” They then headed to the Red Cross shelter. “We were greeted by very friendly and caring Red Cross workers. They helped us secure our dog with Kern County Animal Services and placed him in a very nice air conditioned trailer,” said Pilion.

To pass the time, Pilion and her mother take walks outside and occasionally get into her car, which she has so lovingly calls ‘Sherry’s Scenic Sedan Tours,’ and drive around the block.

HOW YOU CAN HELP – Support people affected by disasters like fires and countless other crises by making a gift to Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. Visit, call 1-800-RED CROSS, or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. For those interested in specifically helping people affected by the Western wildfires, we ask that they write “Western Wildfires” in the memo line of a check and mail it with a completed donation form to the address on the form or to their local Red Cross chapter.

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