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With the help of an amazing team of coordinators and the social media platform Nextdoor, she was able to connect the community of Marin, where she lives, with families in Santa Rosa, where she works. In just minutes after her first post, she had numerous people volunteering to help with the cause. She tells us she has over 1700 volunteer families matched with over 125 families who lost their homes in the fire.
"Nothing is more terrifying than when you have lost everything and to feel like there is no one there who cares," she says.
Payton and her team of coordinators Kelly, Katie and Carrie join The Doctors. She explains as a healthcare worker, "We all make a promise to not abandon anybody if they are in a vulnerable situation if they're a patient, so that had to be a focus because we were the only hospital left in town," she shares. Adding that the outpouring of support for what she is doing has overwhelming. "Everybody wants to help. Everybody wants to do something. We're just all not quite sure how. And if one person has a good idea... it was an avalanche of help."
She says that her work is not over as over 5000 houses burned down, which means that 5000 families in her community could still need help. One of those families in need is the Donovan Family. Sean and Bobbi Donovan, who have three daughters, lost nearly everything and were only able to grab a few items from their home. Thankfully, Payton's organization has come to this family's aid.
"More than the material things that are a huge blessing... just to know that people who did not even know we existed are taking time out of their lives and coordinating such amazing efforts with some amazing human beings to take care of things we can't even begin to think of that we are going to need, it's overwhelming. It's a blessing that is undescribable," Bobbi tells Payton and her team.
In an effort to help the Donovan family, we reached out to our friends at Smart & Final Stores, who donated $5000 gift card for groceries and supplies. Zuo Modern Contemporary gives the family 4 bedroom sets for when they are settled in their new home. Also, our friends at Evolve MKD give the family $15,000 and a trip to Walt Disney World.
To help Payton and her team continue their amazing work, HP donated new laptops to help with their work. Also, Sarah Leary, co-founder of Nextdoor, joins the panel and announces her company is gifting $15,000 to help even more families.
For information on how you can help families affected by the fires through Payton's organization, click here.