Some could easily see this is a general thank you to our clients and partners for the year coming to an end. Well, yes…it is that, but it is quite a bit more than just “business” this year in particular.
Most of those who work regularly with us know that our neighboring community of Paradise CA suffered a disastrous wildfire that almost entirely destroyed their city, and with it the schools of 5000+ students. They also know of our long-time involvement with our local schools, educators, and students. Therefore, we wanted to actually take a moment to move beyond a business-oriented recognition…to express a very heart-felt thank you to our clients abroad and also to our local partners for all the support that was given to us, so that we in turn, could take the time we needed to help the students and families from that community.
Many that work with us know that 3 of our core leadership team have deep roots in the community of Paradise CA. Two of us grew up and attended school there, one taught there, and we all have life-long connections with friends, families, and educators we know and love there. We’d like to acknowledge that each of our clients engaged us in early November as the tragic wildland fire events were unfolding, and immediately inquired how they might assist in any way to help students and families. Not only did individual team members from various organizations that we work for make personal contributions to recovery funds, but they also made room for us to shift much of our time and effort towards assistance with the school districts, teachers, and students and families for over a month to provide aid, volunteer days, and help coordinate laptop and materials distributions across the county to schools.
Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!
Specifically, our long-time friends at the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access reached out to us immediately to know how they could help and made personal contributions to our local recovery funds, while our newest partners at the California Historical Society sent a care-package to share with the displaced families staying with some of our staff, and started every meeting by covering “How is everyone doing?” and “What more support or resources do you need?” Our local partners via Chico Grow Tech, without fanfare, or questions…just plain and simple showed up to help with every part of the aid we needed to quickly coordinate laptops and backpacks to high school and middle school students who lost everything. We even had former colleagues reach out to us and make direct contributions to the children of the families we were collectively hosting for the months following the fire.
This has been an absolute affirmation of what we already knew. We have always loved the partners we get to work with in their efforts to help support education, learning, and increased access to equitable resources for all communities. And because of that, we end up developing meaningful relationships with the people behind those projects through a shared passion, vision, and drive for the work. The last few months of 2018 solidified the spirit and the heart of those teams we are so fortunate to alongside throughout the years.
With your help to date, we distributed over 1600 laptops and 500 backpacks directly to students who have returned to Paradise Schools in their new locations and centers across Chico. We have 400 more laptops scheduled to be picked up and distributed to Paradise students that are now enrolled in one of 7 different school sites in Chico, and are soliciting the donations to secure 200 more for students that were forced to move out of the area with their parents.
If you can donate to help address this remaining push, please do, as we have direct contact with these displaced students and families in need as coordinated with their school site leadership teams.
With 2018 coming to an end, our whole team at Navigation North says THANK YOU! and wishes each and every one of you the Happiest of New Years. As always, we look forward to working with you in 2019 and beyond!
With Much Love and Appreciation,
– The NavNorth Team