Longtime Tahoe local gathers donations for fire victims
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — Gladys and Pat Nobriga, of South Lake Tahoe, filled a room in their house with numerous donations for those who have been impacted due to the CZU Lightning Complex fire in Santa Cruz.
The couple who are in their 80s have been locals since the 1960s.
Gladys Nobriga worked at Harrah’s Lake Tahoe for 39 years and has become deeply intertwined in the community. She is connected with friends and family who live in Santa Cruz and have been directly affected by the destructive fires currently going on in the area.
When Gladys heard about the devastation, she said she spent all night thinking of how she could help. The same town her granddaughter used to live in had been wiped out by the fire and with the stress of not being able to get a hold of her friend for a couple days, she decided to help any way she could.
After hearing that Santa Cruz County was looking for donations and supplies for the evacuees, she reached out to her friends in the community in efforts to collect items for those who lost all their belongings in the fires.
“Between telling 10 friends, I now have an entire room full of stuff to donate now,” said Nobriga. “I knew I had to do it and I did it. If I can do it, others can too. We can support each other.”
She collected sheets, blankets, clothing, house appliances, coffee makers, towels, tents and much more.
Nobriga said she has a whole variety of donations that are all clean and in good condition. She has a friend driving to South Lake to take the items to the evacuation centers.
“I didn’t do it to get a thank you. When my granddaughter burst into tears I knew I had to help,” she said.
Nobriga says that her passion to help comes from past experiences with tragedy.
“Some things you just never forget,” she said.
Nobriga was born in East Berlin, Germany in 1939. She said that even at 5 years old she still remembers the sound of bombs during the war that have stayed with her forever. With many of her family and friends being Jewish, Nobriga lost a lot of people to concentration camps.
“I know this is why I want to help — I have seen a lot of sadness in my life,” she said.
Nobriga says that more people should get together to help out one another during these times.
“I know it’s a lot of work and, at times, I thought, ‘what did I get myself into.’ but I did it.”
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