The tragic wildfires continue to rage thousands of miles away in California, but the impact of the fire has touched the lives of some of the athletes who spend their summers here in Milwaukee. Ryan Braun and his wife and two young children live in Malibu, and their family home was damaged by the flames as much of their neighborhood lay in ruins.
From the Journal Sentinel:
“We’re just incredibly thankful for the firemen, the policemen, all the first responders. At the same time, we feel just awful for so many friends and family members who lost their houses.”
“A lot of friends from our kids’ schools lost their houses. The thought of everybody having to completely start over is a really difficult thing, especially as you approach the holidays.”
“It’s almost indescribable. The first time I got back to some of those areas and was able to drive through and see the devastation first-hand, it really does look like a scene out of a movie. It’s apocalyptic. These are areas that had lush greenery and big trees, and shrubs and flowers. To see all of these areas that were so beautiful be completely black is just a really weird thing...It’s heartbreaking.”
The damage inflicted throughout the region has galvanized Braun and some of his fellow southern California natives into action. Braun arrived at the Brewers’ annual Thanksgiving food drive yesterday sporting a new “California Strong” shirt designed by Mark Attanasio’s son, Mike:
This shirt was designed by a friend Brewers owner Mark Attanasio’s son Mike, who is working alongside Ryan Braun, Mike Moustakas and Christian Yelich on efforts to help those impacted by California wildfires. More info to come soon via Yelich’s social media, Braun said. pic.twitter.com/dC0gVwF9Qt— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) November 21, 2018
Braun, in conjuction with his MVP teammate Christian Yelich and 2018 Brewer Mike Moustakas, have partnered with the Southeast Ventura County YMCA to help raise money for the victims of the wildfires, as well as the recent mass shooting that took place in Yelich’s hometown of Thousand Oaks. There is an online campaign where you can submit donations (click here) that at the time of this writing, has already raised more than $114K of their $250K goal. There is also a site (click here) where you can purchase “California Strong” merchandise like t-shirts, sweatshirts, and mugs, with 100% of the proceeds going to the needy families in California.
The recent tragedies in CA have hit home for all of us. We’re starting a campaign to help get people back on their feet. In these tough times you see the best side of humanity & everyone coming together for a great cause. Click here to find out how to help https://t.co/fXMG8FFciU pic.twitter.com/tlNlE0SKpg— Christian Yelich (@ChristianYelich) November 21, 2018