INTL* staff members, Jessica Johnson, Human Resource and Benefits Coordinator, and Jeremy Johnson, Early Years Center Receptionist, have strong ties to Sonoma County. They have many friends who live there, and they have even named two of their dogs (Sonoma and Olivet) after the area.
With fires raging through Napa, Sonoma, and Santa Rosa areas, Jessica and Jeremy called upon the INTL family to take action and help.
"I am planning on going up [with donations] every weekend for quite some time," said Jessica. "I am happy to go back up as many times as necessary."
According to Jessica, "the most important thing is that the donations are sorted prior to getting dropped off. The Red Cross is awesome, but they often do not have enough people to help sort, so donations are left to the side until someone can do it. If they come pre-sorted and labeled, the boxes are put out immediately and it's much faster for the families that need these items to grab it."
In addition to asking INTL staff to volunteer their help in sorting donations to be given to the Red Cross, Jessica and Jeremy raised awareness for what are the biggest needs - donations of: diapers (children and adult), baby formula, first aid items, feminine hygiene products, sinus rinse aids, shower supplies, linens (towels, blankets, pillows and pillow cases), clothing, shoes, coloring books and toys (something that children could do alone as well as in groups, but please no stuffed animals as the smoke will attach to the fabric and may cause breathing issues), shelf-stable food for people, food for animals, leashes, animal bowls for water/food, etc.
INTL staff and extended care members have committed some weekend time to sorting donations to be given to the Red Cross.
Head of School Philippe Dietz said, "I am in contact with a Head of School in Sonoma, who estimates that 1/3 of their school's families have lost their homes. A tragedy like this could happen to us, and I would hope that other communities would reach out and help. It's part of our identity as a school to make a difference in the world, and the fact that our faculty and staff model this behavior to our students, through actions such as this - I am extremely proud of our staff for taking this initiative."
If you wish to donate any of the items listed above or to help with sorting, please contact JessicaJohnson@INTL.org
For monetary donations, please give directly to the Red Cross. Please note that INTL cannot give tax-deductions for monetary or physical donations to the Red Cross or wildfire relief.
*In 2020, the International School of the Peninsula (ISTP) formally changed its name to Silicon Valley International School (INTL) to better reflect its bilingual programs, location, and international values.