The Coastside community is rallying behind a Coastside Fire Protection District firefighter who lost his Paradise home in the Camp Fire that tore through Butte County last month.
Stephen Morris and his family — wife Jennifer and his young daughter Kresley — have been invited to stay in a vacant Half Moon Bay home, provided by an anonymous donor, for an extended period of time.
The donor is a client of Kristi Will Design, an interior design company located on Purissima Street. After hearing about the Morris family’s plight, the donor reached out to company owner, Kristi Will, with an interest in doing something to assist the family.
Will said the Coastside donor couple told her she was in tears over all the Morris family had lost and wanted to do something to help. Will said she didn’t know how long the stay would be but guessed that it might be six months or a year.
In the meantime, the design team got to work on filling the vacant home with necessities big and small.
They took advantage of the “Giving Tuesday” concept that follows Thanksgiving and advertised the need for belongings widely. She also set up an online registry with an assortment of items that range from cleaning products to towels and sheets.
“We’ve been gathering donations from vendors and colleagues and friends and family,” Will said. “We’ve had such a huge response.”
On Friday, Will reported that they had enough items to furnish a family room, the dining room and Kresley’s bedroom.
In addition to the necessities, some donors threw in a few fun items as well.
For example, a fellow Sea Crest parent donated a mini-fridge complete with a six-pack of beer, Will said, and Bob Myers, a woodworker in Half Moon Bay, crafted a dollhouse for the little girl.
“I know we have over 60 donations,” said Will.
Will noted on Friday that she never met Morris, who has served as a firefighter at the Point Montara Station in Moss Beach for roughly two years, but that she knows the life of a firefighter’s family well.
Will’s husband used to work for the Coastside Fire Protection District and says she remembers many holidays spent at the firehouse with the couple’s two daughters.
Will and the donor have been working with CFPD Capt. Chip Pickard to connect with the Morris family.
Reached for comment last week, Morris said he didn’t know then whether the offer was official but expressed his gratitude at the potential opportunity, especially one so close to work.
At that point the family was staying in a room in a house in Chico.
Morris guessed that his family would eventually move back to Paradise given the high cost of living on the Coastside.