Loading articles...

B.C. couple helps California wildfire evacuees in Walmart parking lot

Paul Klyne of Penticton, B.C., helps with an impromptu kitchen for wildfire evacuees in Chico, Calif., in this recent handout photo. It was supposed to be a vacation in Paradise, but instead a British Columbia couple's getaway to northern California has turned into a mission to help people fleeing deadly and destructive wildfires. Destinee and Paul Klyne of Penticton had planned a peaceful holiday in Paradise, Calif., but flames destroyed their Airbnb and much of the community before their arrival. They decided to go ahead with the trip anyway, and channel their vacation funds into relief for exhausted wildfire evacuees. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Destinee Klyne

CHICO, Calif. — It was supposed to be a vacation in Paradise, but instead a British Columbia couple’s getaway to northern California has turned into a mission to help people fleeing deadly and destructive wildfires.

Destinee and Paul Klyne of Penticton had planned a peaceful holiday in Paradise, Calif., but flames destroyed their Airbnb and much of the community before their arrival. 

They decided to go ahead with the trip anyway, and channel their vacation funds into relief for exhausted wildfire evacuees.

They bought a bevy of $25 Walmart gift cards and set up in the store’s parking lot in Chico, where they joined forces with a food truck operator.

Donations began pouring in and more food vendors offered to help, turning the parking lot into a hub of activity where the couple estimates they served 1,200 to 1,500 people yesterday.

The couple will stop taking donations at 3 p.m. tomorrow because they’re scheduled to leave that night, but they suggest people donate directly to victims’ online fundraising campaigns or help in other ways.

The Canadian Press