Javelin Employee Delivers Donations to Camp Fire Victims


Portland, OR, 01/07/2019 — 

On November 8, 2018, the “Camp Fire” wildfire ripped through Butte County in Northern California.  Within the first two days of the fire, the town of Paradise (population: 26,000+) was all but destroyed—80% to 90% of the city’s infrastructure, gone.  For seventeen days, the “Camp Fire” burned.  Finally, on November 25, after a weekend of heavy rain, the California fire official announced that the “Camp Fire” reached 100% containment.  This proved to be the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California state history.  By the end of the “Camp Fire,” over 19,000 structures were lost—more than 13,000 of them single-family homes.  Within a few short hours, everything these people knew, was gone.  News of the devastation spread quickly across the United States.  Relatives reached out on social media looking for their loved ones.  Communities, local and nationwide, rallied to lend support to survivors of the “Camp Fire.” 

 

Javelin Logistics Company (JLC) was just one of the many companies who offered support to wildfire survivors.  Justin Pratt, a JLC Class A driver based at the Portland, OR facility, started an initiative to gather and donate needed supplies to those who lost everything.  Pratt felt a personal connection to the “Camp Fire” survivors.  His wife hails from Paradise.  Her family lost everything.  After the necessary arrangements were in place, Pratt contacted KPTV, a local news station in the Portland Metro area.  He advised them of his plan to collect donations.  KPTV interviewed him on television and posted an article on their website.  Later, other Portland Metro area news stations, like KGW and KATU, contacted him and helped spread the word. Pratt also used social media to share his plan with the community.  

 

The donations started pouring in.  Pratt stated that he had so many people contacting him, that he enlisted his mother to act as his personal assistant.  Pratt’s mother took care of contacting potential donors by answering emails, text messages and phone calls.  At least six different donation centers were set up to accept non-perishable food, new and used clothing, toiletries, blankets, everything.  Toyota of Gresham filled up their entire showroom.  Toyota also donated two box trucks to Pratt’s effort to assist in collecting material to give to Paradise.  Two First American Title offices, one based in Newberg and the other in McMinnville, collected contributions.  Additional donation centers in SE Portland and Camas, WA were set-up.  

 

The JLC Wagon Way facility, based in Hillsboro ended up being one of the largest donation centers.  JLC Wagon Way filled an entire 53’ semi-trailer.  More than 75% of these donations were the result of the extensive networking effort of Taylor Collins, daughter of the JLC Wagon Way Operations Supervisor, Jennifer Piña.  Collins spread the word about the Paradise relief effort through her employer, Glencoe High School in Hillsboro.  She also contacted nearby Evergreen Middle School.  Collins also wrote to her social media mothers groups informing them of Pratt’s plan to deliver supplies to Paradise.  For over two days, Collins collected donations from multiple pick-up spots in the communities of Hillsboro and Forest Grove.  The local St. Pius Church was only one group among many others who delivered their contributions directly to JLC Wagon Way’s front office.  These donations and additional donations (provided by JLC Wagon Way personnel) were sorted and loaded onto pallets.  The pallets were then picked up and transported to Pratt’s warehouse in Portland. 

 

Pratt’s initial plan was to deliver one 53’ semi-trailer of supplies to Paradise.  Fortunately, the citizens of the Portland Metro Area and neighboring communities went above and beyond.  Due to the sheer volume of donations, Pratt was forced to load a second 53’ trailer.  Another JLC driver volunteered to drive the second load down from Portland to Paradise.  In the wee hours of November 17, after a week of collecting donations, the two 53’ trailers started the 9.5-hour trek down (with a stop in Ashland, OR for more donations) to Northern California.  Prior to departing, Pratt contacted The Hope Center in Oroville, CA, a town about 20 miles south of Paradise.  The Hope Center had Pratt deliver the donations to two nearby warehouses.  These warehouses were just two of the many warehouses in Oroville housing donations.  After returning the 53’ trailers to Portland, Pratt and his wife set off for Oroville again.  This time in their personal vehicle.  Pratt and his wife spent their Thanksgiving holiday volunteering at The Hope Center, sorting through donations.

 

The Pratts were just two of the many volunteers working tirelessly at The Hope Center.  Residents of cities devastated by the wildfire, like those of Paradise, can come to the center, grab a cart and “shop” for necessities.  Donations are organized around the clock.  Pratt’s extended family have been beneficiaries of this aid and of a fundraising campaign to help them restore their lives.  They have been fortunate enough to have relatives to stay with.  However, Pratt’s family, much like the other thousands of people affected by this tragedy, have a lot longer to go before their lives return to any semblance of “normal.” Pratt says that he’s still receiving calls, emails and texts from people wanting to help.  As he told KGW, “I can’t even wrap my head around what I’ve accomplished…huge shout-out to literally the whole entire Pacific Northwest.” 

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