The devastation from the ongoing California wildfires hit no area as hard as Paradise, a town in Butte County, Calif. The entire town has been destroyed by the Camp Fire, destroying homes and displacing thousands of residents.
Saturday night, the girls volleyball team from Forest Lake Christian School (Auburn, Calif.) faced Paradise Adventist Academy in a Northern California Division VI girls volleyball semifinal match.
As to the Los Angeles Times reported, Forest Lake team members asked the California Interscholastic Federation if, rather than charging admission, it could accept donations for Paradise Adventist Academy team members and for their families. The CIF obliged.
The Forest Lake team went above and beyond donating money to their distressed opponents, however. When the team arrived after the nearly two-hour drive, they found brand new uniforms, knee pads and socks for every player as well as truck loads of donated clothes. Not only that, but there was a dinner planned along with a room full of goods for players’ families.
On top of that, the Times reports, Paradise Adventist coach Jason Eyer was presented with gift cards for each player and family, $300 per student.
“To have our community show up in such a huge way, I’m still blown away by it,” Forest Lake Christian head coach Travis Smith said, per The Union. “I’ve never seen that many people in our gym, and there were people there who had never watched a volleyball game in their life, but they came to support what we were doing.”
The Union reported that the donations came together from the Forest Lake Christian community in less than 24 hours.
“This is truly awe-inspiring how in a time of our greatest needs, fellow students, schools and communities continue to step up and be a shining light for all of us,” CIF Executive Director Roger Blake wrote the Times in an email.
Forest Lake Christian won the match, 3-1 (25-16, 18-25, 25-18, 25-13). The win, surely, came second to helping a community so desperately in need of support.