AZVJC Rodeo-Chediski Wildfire Relief Run

By Jeep Experts

Two wildfires, that began right here in Arizona in late June, merged and collectively burned almost one half million acres of forest.  During the multi-week lengthy hearth, over 30,000 individuals had been compelled to evacuate their properties and greater than 400 properties had been misplaced.  It was this states largest wildfire in recorded historical past.

On a Tuesday morning, one of many native Arizona Vritual Jeep Club (AZVJC) members steered placing collectively a aid run.  He steered we attempt to get as many Jeeps as attainable to take provides to the evacuee shelters for the upcoming Saturday.  What occurred in these 5 days was nothing wanting a small miracle, for my part.  Over 100 members signed up for the run, stocked with provides that the shelter was in want of.  We purchased toys for the youngsters and provides for the animal shelter as effectively.  Troy, from Toys by Troy, introduced his tow rig (loaded with provides) and a car trailer so he might tow any unlucky member that required some help (and it was pressed into service earlier than the journey was achieved).  I rapidly posted a request for monetary contributions on two on-line boards.  My “digital” buddies donated simply over $1000 to the trigger.  (Thank you all so very a lot!)

The photos on this write-up can’t start to indicate the heat, generosity, and fellowship that was skilled on that Saturday.  The feelings ran excessive for each our group and the evacuees that had been dwelling within the shelter.  But they had been tears of pleasure….and they are going to be remembered by me ceaselessly.

Here are a couple of photographs, in one thing that resembles the order during which issues just about occurred.

I requested a couple of Jeepin’ buddies to assist me out with the go to to Sam’s Club and Wall-Mart.  I didn’t have the car house to haul the provides over to the Saturday morning assembly spot the place some others had additional house to assist transport the provides.

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With my PayPal debit card in hand, we made it previous the checkout particular person and out the door.  We stated our goodbyes to the entrance door greeter (and Sam’s Club card checker) and pushed our three carts out to the parking zone.

Aside from serving to get provides to the wildfire victims, this aid run open the doorways to a number of new friendships.  Gordon, the proprietor of this Cheokee, responded to my e-mail request, on the AZVJC e-mail reflector, for assist in transporting provides.  Before we had been achieved buying on Friday night, we loaded up this car, a J-10 pickup truck, and my TJ.


Saturday morning arrived and we arrived on the Taco Bell parking zone in Fountain Hills.  Joe and Joyce had picked up an emergency cargo of RED t-shirts from the native 4×4 store.  The AZVJC has taken to carrying these “acquired rocks?” t-shirts to all of our capabilities.  It initially was achieved to set us aside from the “inexperienced of us” that attend the general public land use conferences.  It has principally turn out to be our trademark and after we all stroll right into a constructing, it does draw the main target to our group.  For our aid run, it was to indicate our solidarity for the wildfire victims.

One of the members made up some decals for our automobiles.  We donated $5 or extra for a decal and the proceeds went to the shelter.  A few the native 4×4 fabricators donated some reward certificates which had been raffled off.  All whole, the decals and reward certificates generated greater than $1000 in contributions.

AZVJC Rodeo-Chediski
Wildfire Relief Run

Our journey time was slightly over an hour to get to Payson, AZ, the place the shelter we had been delivering our provides to was positioned.  We acquired slightly unfold out alongside the hour drive, however that was OK.  We all caught up with the entrance of the pack after they hit the town limits.  It took about 3 minutes for all of us to go previous the identical level (earlier than we acquired unfold out).  Yes, there have been a number of Jeeps and different automobiles carrying provides.

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We stopped on the aid provides staging space close to the sting of city.  They had been utilizing a feed retailer to warehouse and stock the provides.  We introduced primarily what the shelter had requested, that being; bottled water, gatorade, diapers, private hygiene objects, cleaning soap, bleach, socks, and some different objects.

These are simply a number of the provides (water, gatorade, and soda) that had been unloaded at this cease.  People had been nonetheless bringing in circumstances of provides as these photos had been being taken.

Some extra of the provides….bleach, dish cleaning soap, laundry detergent, paper towels, child wipes, and so on. 

AZVJC Rodeo-Chediski
Wildfire Relief Run

The center college at Payson was used as considered one of two aid shelters.  They additionally used the highschool fitness center.  When we arrived on the center college and unloaded the toys and video games (for adults too…..sitting round worrying about issues with an excessive amount of time in your fingers will get outdated actual quick).  The shelter administration launched our group to the evacuees we then had been in a position to go to with the parents.  There had been a number of teary eyes within the crowd, ours and theirs.  Some of those individuals had nothing greater than the garments they had been carrying.

All types of skilled and non secular assist was accessible to the wildfire victims.  There was insurance coverage declare processing, medical consideration for these with particular wants, and non secular counseling. 


We completed our cease on the shelter.  Some stayed behind to assist out a bit whereas a number of the people continued on to 2 animal shelters.  The animal shelters had been full of animals of all kinds that had escaped the hearth and gotten separated from their house owners.

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Our final cease, as a bunch, was on the native park.  We had the raffle drawing and two fortunate members walked away with a whole lot of {dollars} price of donated 4×4 fab work for his or her Jeep.  We all acquired collectively, as finest one can with a pair hundred individuals, and took some group photos.  We stated our goodbyes and break up up into smaller teams, heading off for lunch at one of many native eating places.  It was good to lastly sit down, have a pleasant meal, and speak with buddies that I had not seen for fairly a while.

Many because of everybody that helped make this run successful.  Because of your kindness and generosity, we had been in a position to deliver a smile to the faces of the wildfire evacuees.  They all stated thanks and I promised these I spoke with that I might cross it alongside to all of you. 

Here is a video clip from the VideoCD that I made.  This phase is about 7.5MB large so DSL/cable modem is a requirement.

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