SAN DIEGO – Pilot Matt Keegan lost his home in Santa Rosa due to the wildfires burning in Northern California. Instead of feeling helpless, he teamed up with other pilots and a San Diego woman who developed a plan to get help to other residents in need.
Keegan’s wife and two young children were able to make it out alive, but their home in Santa Rosa was a total loss.
“Our home burned down, but you know we’re all okay,” Keegan said. “There’s a lot of people who were injured in this fire.”
Since last week, Keegan joined San Diego resident and Santa Rosa native Julie Friedman Keller, whose family escaped the fires.
Continuing Coverage: California Wildfires
“Over 5000 businesses and homes were destroyed and these people have nothing,” said Friedman Keller.
Friedman Keller and her friends jumped in to action and created Sonoma County Fire Relief. They organized volunteers, rallied donations and even secured two warehouse distribution centers in Santa Rosa for evacuees and shelters.
“Kids don’t have pajamas and it’s going to start getting very cold up there. A big thing that’s needed is underwear,” said Friedman Keller.
San Diegans from across the county have been offering support, including Mighty 1090’s Scott and BR Show, Encinitas American Legion, Boys and Girls Club of 4S Ranch, Waxie Sanitary Supply and countless private donations.
Around noon Monday, Keegan boarded one of three private planes loaded with donations from the Greater San Diego area. They left the tarmac at Signature Flight Support near Lindbergh Field and headed to Santa Rosa to deliver needed supplies to the wine country wildfire victims.
The donations will be picked up from the Santa Rosa Airport and volunteers will sort through and deliver them directly to those in need.
If you’d like to give, cash donations would be welcome through their website.