GoFundMe set up for optimistic Princeton woman

Princeton woman has inspired and warmed many hearts since losing her home to wildfire

The story of a Princeton woman, one of only two people to lose a house to the forest fire now smouldering outside of town, touched and inspired people across British Columbia at a time when reports of tragedy and devastation were commonplace throughout the province.

A gofundme page was recently established for Laila Bird, after her family learned insurance will not cover all of her losses.

There is almost nothing salvageable from her rural property.

Bird, 81, was one of the first people forced to evacuate when the fire near Princeton broke out July 7.

Related: A fire can destroy many things — but not spirit

She and her son William have been living in a motel for the past three weeks while she continues her rigorous volunteer schedule.

Thursday morning she was preparing for a full workday, sorting clothes donated for other evacuees.

And that is despite the fact that four days after Bird left her home she suffered a fall that resulted in facial injuries and a concussion.

Bird is a colorful and dynamic personality, president of the Princeton Hospital Auxiliary and a force to be reckoned with at the local garden club.

In an interview with The Spotlight two weeks ago, given just after she learned her home was burned, she was equal parts shaken and upbeat, remarking with characteristic humor that her laundry was probably dry and she was looking forward to getting a new wardrobe.

She expressed concern over her tomato plants and a favorite pith helmet – and mildly lamented the loss of her best teapot and a special pair of toenail clippers.

Bird was a reluctant evacuee, ignoring several official requests that she abandon her property until an RCMP officer parked in her driveway and indicated he wasn’t leaving until she did.

“When you are under attack, you want to attack back. I chose to do that with a sprinkler,” she said.

Bird eventually fled from the spreading blaze with just her dog Bruce and her passport.

Her optimistic view is best summed up with her comment: “[My son] William and I are still here and the property is still there and Allison Creek is still running through it.

“People go through things and they get over them. And we will too.”

Since Laila’s story was first told she has shared her sunny outlook with CBC Radio and Global TV, and generated much admiration on-line.

A few of the comments on Black Press sites and pages follow.

– What an incredible inspiration you are to us all. Stay strong.

– Love this positive attitude. We need more of people like you. Thank you.

– You are a remarkable woman. May your rebuilding be a positive journey.

– What an amazing woman. Her insight and “glass half full” look at the situation she is faced with should be a guide for all.

-This is one remarkable woman, strength of character and wisdom.

– Thank you for the gentle reminder is what is really important – especially during a time of great loss.

If you are able to help Laila click here.

Just Posted

Legion bell prank hits sour note

Anger erupts after Summerland Legion member removes bell from Peachland Legion

Fundraisers bring in more than $5,000 for food bank

Fundraisers organized by several residents in Keremeos brought in thousands for the local food bank.

Kelowna Parkinson’s SuperWalk team donates to local shelter

Good Vibrations donated $300 to Inn from the Cold

Keremeos eyeing 2 per cent tax increase

Early days for Keremeos budget deliberations but predictions are a slight increase.

Penticton teen reunites with paramedics who saved her life 17 years ago

Jayden Arnold was clinically dead when Roy Stanley and Derek Morris arrived to the scene

B.C. wine industry fights for interprovincial trade in Supreme Court

Gerard Comeau likely never thought he would end up in the Supreme… Continue reading

Vehicle with dog inside stolen from Oliver gas station

A black Honda CRV was stolen from the Oliver Chevron early Sunday morning

Team Canada loses 5-2 over the Czech Republic at World Junior A Challenge

Vees’ Tychonick drops in one of Team Canada West’s pair of goals

Site C decision coming Monday

Premier John Horgan to announce fate of dam project at B.C. legislature

California couple name daughter after Revelstoke

Revy Elle Atashroo was born on Nov. 27. Her name honours the town her parents loved exploring.

VIDEO: Vancouver Whitecaps acquire star striker Kei Kamara

Kamara has 103 goals and 39 assists in 298 appearances over 11 Major League Soccer seasons

Smartphone pedometers underestimate steps, but valuable health tool: study

UBC researchers found the iPhone underestimated steps by 21.5 per cent

VIDEO: ‘Last Jedi’ premiere kicks off with droids, Daisy Ridley

Latests Star Wars film premiered in style ahead of Dec. 15 theatre debut

Most Read