“We’ve just been adjusting [the goal] as the donations have come in. We weren’t really sure how much to expect honestly. When you have multiple people who have lost their homes, any amount is going to help, but we certainly didn’t want to deter anyone from donating if they saw that the goal had been met,” Hart said. “There really is not a goal per se, in terms of how much Paulo and Ms. Tafoya could use in order to help rebuild what they had.”
Hart says he was not expecting the overwhelming amount of donations that occurred.
Volunteers at the San Rafael Civic Center
“We knew that there was a lot of potential help and support waiting from the community, but I don’t think any of us expected that much to come out of it,” Hart said.
This type of support is something special to the Redwood community, according to Hart.
“I think we’re very lucky in that we generally live in an area where people have the ability to help out in the capacity that they are,” Hart said. “It shows that Redwood has a great support network and that there’s really just some very caring people in our community, everything from teachers to students to former students.”
As for the reaction to this support, Hart said the faculty have been grateful but nothing can mask how overwhelmed they are by their situations.
“Mr. Mullery [head custodian] and Mr. Sondheim have been in touch and I know that they’re appreciative, but I also know that they have a lot on their plate right now,” Hart said.
Hart plans on ending the GoFundMe page some time in the near future.
“Donations have definitely slowed down. I think we’ve kind of reached basically everyone in our community as much as we can, and we really at this point want to make sure that this money makes it to our impacted employees,” Hart said. “We’re probably going to be withdrawing that money and distributing it very soon.”
With 1,100 shares on Facebook and donation up to $2,500, the support continues to flow in.
Jeff and Lori Runnfeldt, parents of junior Anna and freshman Alli, were in Mexico at the time the fires first started.
“When we woke up that Monday morning, we had a ton of texts and friends and family about the fires,” said Lori.
The Runnfeldt family has a house in Napa Valley, which luckily survived from the fire.
“We were just trying to get a handle on the scope of it and that everybody we knew up there was okay.” said Jeff. “And of course if we were at risk as well.”
Anna and Alli were at home during the strike of the fires.
“We wanted to make sure that our kids were okay and when we eventually read about it in the news. It made me even more worried because of all the devastation,” Lori said.
According to Jeff, he believes he found out about the Redwood support GoFundMe on Facebook, which the Runnfeldt family donated $1,000 too, one of highest seven donations made to the Redwood faculty.
“It seemed like the obvious thing to do considering all the challenges they were faces. We wanted to do what we could to help alleviate them in any way possible,” Jeff said.