VACAVILLE, California — In the hardest times, we should always look for the helpers and, thankfully, there's no shortage of people with kind hearts.
After part of the LNU Lightning Complex Fires tore through Vacaville, many evacuees ended up at Western Ranch and Pet Supply for donations and help. It was a full-on relief operation to meet the most basic of needs.
Dave Dubay, for example, came to get his dog Hunter's nails trimmed.
"Someone started clipping Hunter's nails and I noticed that Dave was crying," Noelle DeMartini said.
Noelle learned Dave, a total stranger to her, was crying because he had just lost everything he owned and he'd just lost one of his friends, a fire victim who died in his neighborhood.
Dave was also crying because he was overwhelmed by the kindness of strangers.
"I lost my house. Everything burnt to the ground with no insurance. But God saved us and there's a reason why and I don't know why," he said.
Noelle believes one reason is so she can help Dave in his darkest time -- adopting a new friend, in a time of need.
"She's a sweetheart," Dave said.
Noelle first started by setting up Dave with a bank account. Then it was time to find him a place to stay. A local hotel would do for now.
Then it was time for Dave to get his hair washed and cut. Hunter, his rescue dog, got to sit on his lap the entire time.
Noelle set up a GoFundMe and a Venmo account for Dave. She's ordered him a cell phone and just surprised him with a new set of wheels!
Help and kindness for fire survivor Dave Dubay in Vacaville
"I need it now. They bought me a truck yesterday. I'm sorry. Now I can drive around. It's overwhelming," Dave said holding back tears.
Noelle did this without hesitation. She says she had to help Dave. It was simply the right thing to do.
"I'm overwhelmed with the help. They've been so good to me and boo boo," he said.
It is a friendship forged out of the darkest of days for Dave. Noelle and the community rallying around one of their own.
Dave can't say thank you enough.
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