Amid Disastrous Fires, Stories of Kindness

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ROHNERT PARK -- With hundreds of people still missing, many friends and family taking to social media to try to reconnect with loved ones they’ve lost touch with.

Jeffrey Baumuik says he has multiple family members affected by this fire, and been ready to go since the fires broke out to try and find his 61-year-old mother.

Not knowing whether his mom was safe kept Baumuik up all night this week.

"I couldn’t leave the house, I was by the phone, my charger, my gas tanks were full, I was ready to go anywhere she was to try and find her," Baumuik said.

Baumuik hadn’t heard from his mom, Norma Zarr, since the fires in wine country broke out Sunday night.

"Really worried about her and once we found out her phone wasn’t charged, we really started to worry," he told FOX40.

Adding to the worry was the fact that Zarr has multiple medical conditions, prompting Baumuik and his sisters to take to social media to get help finding their mom.

Finally, Thursday night, Baumuik finally heard from his mom and has a stranger to thank for it.

The guy recognized my mom outside of Walmart and said, 'Your family is looking for you, you are on the news,' and she couldn’t believe it and she goes, 'You really care,' and I said, 'Of course mom, I really care,'" Baumuik said. "So it was great to hear her joke around a little bit even though we were losing our minds about where she is."

Baumuik is now trying to get ahold of his mom again so he can meet up with her and find out if her place is still standing, but knowing she is OK is what he says matters most.

"I just want to take her out to dinner. Just say, 'Oh god,' wipe the sweat from my brow," he said.

Baumuik says that invitation for dinner also extends to the good Samaritan that helped him reconnect with his mom. He said the support of so many looking for his mom gave him hope the entire time.

Donation Centers Filling Up

Donation centers are filling up all across Northern California, so a Rohnert Park man is opening another -- in his own home.

Jonathan Lewis was supposed to be in Maui this week, but says there was no way he could leave with so much of his state devastated.

"Three weeks ago I started collecting clothes for the homeless in Santa Rosa," Lewis said. "Clothing, canned food, and then the fires hit. So I had already had a ton of clothes."

Now, clothes, shoes, sleeping bags and bathroom essentials are just some of the items filling Lewis' driveway.

"I'm putting bags together for different families so they can just come and grab exactly what they need, they don’t have to go to some of the shelters that are busy and hectic," Lewis said.

Lewis felt the need to step in and help Monday morning, using his large social media following to help spread the word that his house was open for donations.

"Mentally and physically it is hectic but I want to be a good Samaritan. If everyone did this, we would have so much less chaos right now and everyone knows I like to help, so that’s my thing," he told FOX40.

He says many fire victims stopping by for items have been upbeat, and with over three dozen friends having lost their homes, he says he’s been more than willing to fill the void, especially for one friend who is a big sports fan.

"He’s a big time Warriors fan, I had a brand new Curry jersey. I gave him a Curry jersey and he said, 'You’re my hero,' and I said 'Man, if everyone just does a little bit, we’ll be fine. We’ll be good. It’s good to see smiles on their faces," Lewis said. "It’s time to help your neighbor, plain and simple. A lot of people. There is going to be a long rebuilding process. I’ve never seen so many houses destroyed. So it’s just helping people, make them feel a little more comfortable, that’s all we can ask. "

It’s not just clothing and supplies for Lewis. Thursday night, he was also out helping provide food for the firefighters, who he says are the true heroes.