In the very early hours of Monday morning, the strong winds that had been blowing through Sonoma and Napa counties started to smell of smoke, and within hours vast stretches of our region were ablaze. Vineyards were destroyed and whole neighborhoods burned to the ground. As the fires swept to the north and east, our hometown of Petaluma has become an evacuation hub for the thousands of people who have been displaced from their homes.
Our offices, while spared from fire, were forced to close due to the continued threat of the high winds and dry conditions. At the time of this writing an emergency evacuation is still in place for those on the mountain side of Penngrove a couple miles from Benedetta's offices and warehouse. Our team is fanned out across Sonoma County and some of us were forced to evacuate our homes, while others volunteered their time in shelters, assisting the community in those crucial first hours of crisis. While we have re-opened Benedetta’s offices, our region continues to burn and we are heartbroken for the people who have lost everything and for the beloved landmarks and stretches of vine covered hills blackened by this disaster. To date, more than 2,800 structures have been destroyed and tens of thousands of acres have burned.
Benedetta has made its home in Sonoma County since our inception in 1996. This is where Julia Faller first started the Farm-Sourced® Skincare movement, and our products continue to be formulated and bottled here in Petaluma. Sonoma County is an agricultural region, and Benedetta works with local farmers to source botanical ingredients for many of our organic preparations from California family owned farms. The people who work tirelessly in our thriving agricultural community are some of the worst affected by this disaster and we want to assist them as they begin recovering their lives.
We have identified two incredible ways that you can support our region during this crisis. Community Foundation Sonoma County has created the The Sonoma County Resilience Fund to address the mid to long term needs of our community. With their deep relationships with local nonprofits, government officials, and community leaders, community foundations are often in the best position to hold funds, make grants, and support our communities. Another way to contribute is through Redwood Credit Union, who is organizing North Bay Fire Relief Fund. A donation to either of these funds is 100% tax deductible.
As Team Benedetta continues to support the recovery effort, we remain dedicated to our mission of providing unparalleled Farm-Sourced® Holistic Skincare. While October is crush season in California wine country, it is also National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. In recognition of this, Benedetta is offering free samples of our signature aluminum and paraban-free deodorant alternative with any purchase on our website. “The” Best Deodorant was first and foremost created in response to evidence linking these chemicals to breast cancer right here in Northern California. If you would like to receive these samples, simply mark the number (limit 5) in the notes section of your order.
*Images sourced from SF Chronicle