‘If you have more than you need, you can give it away’: Local restaurant aids fire victims

ESCONDIDO, Calif. -- A restaurant owner in Escondido is doing her part to help victims of the deadly Camp Fire in Northern California. 

Phyllis Kamps and her husband own Smokey's Lake Wohlford Cafe. When Kamps saw that thousands of people lost everything in the fire, she started asking customers for donations.

"I just put a little snippet on the Facebook page, and about five minutes later I had customers bringing in items," Kamps told FOX 5. "I didn't realize I would get this much."

Within a few days, dozens of bags of clothing, blankets, toiletries, diapers, toys and other items started pouring in. Kamps also asked for warm clothing like mittens and warm socks. "People are living in their cars with just the clothes on their backs and it's 30 degrees up there," she explained.

Kamps said her own home in Valley Center has been threatened by wildfires in the past. Now she is paying it forward.

"When we had the '03 fires here, you were grateful for anything you got," Kamps said. "If you have more than you need, you can give it away."

"You'll find that in tragic times people come together, and perhaps that gives you a new outlook onto what's really important in life," one customer who donated toys told FOX 5.

The American Red Cross will pick up donated items from Smokey's Lake Wohlford Cafe on Monday, November 19th, Kamps said.