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A Twitter post from Vintage Grocers announcing free turkeys for displaced Malibu residents and first responders.
Heather Warthen, Contributing Editor
1:41 pm PST November 15, 2018

While more than half of Malibu is still unable to return to their homes and businesses, fellow Malibu residents and local businesses are stepping in to offer relief.

With Thanksgiving a week away, Vintage Grocers is offering thanks for first responders and giving support to displaced victims of both the Woolsey and Hill fires by offering a free turkey for Thanksgiving. The grocer’s popular Trancas Country Market location in Malibu is still closed as of Thursday, Nov. 15.

“It’s the right thing to do,” Vintage Grocers brand ambassador Melissa Darpino said, of the free turkeys. “Malibu is a tight community and this particular part of Western Malibu even more so. We want to be open as soon as possible so we can give some sense of normalcy to guests.

“With Thanksgiving on our doorstep and the desire to be together – friends, family, neighbors – we wanted to offer the turkey as the centerpiece of this time of sharing.”

The turkeys, which include a fully-cooked Diestel Farms turkey or a raw, natural turkey, are available while supplies last at the Westlake Village store at 140 Promenade Way or the Pacific Palisades location at 15285 W. Sunset Blvd. Reservations also are taken by emailing thanksgiving@vintagegrocers.com. To receive the turkey, a valid first responder ID or driver’s license is needed.

Darpino, who also was an evacuee from Liberty Canyon in neighboring Agoura Hills, said the Malibu location was “virtually untouched” and that they will be posting information on their social media channels over the next few days.

“We remain standing and we cannot wait to open our doors again,” she said. “We are going to be opening as soon as possible and much sooner than we ever thought.”

With a large portion of Pacific Coast Highway still closed in Malibu, getting supplies to survivors has not been an easy task.

Malibu resident Bill Kerbox decided a closed highway wasn’t going to stop him from bringing supplies. They came by ocean instead.

“I got a call on Sunday night that we were going to have access to a boat and with the help of a lot of people, we brought three tons of supplies to Paradise Cove,” he said. “There was a lot of resistance to get the boat in there, but the [Los Angeles County] sheriffs let us deliver the load of supplies.”

The boat was the 143-foot Leight Star Yacht owned by Howard Leight, who owns Malibu Rocky Oaks Estate Vineyard.

Kerbox said they delivered everything from water and fuel to basic medical supplies and food.

“It just felt like the right thing to do because I could,” Kerbox said. “I’m so glad it worked out.”

Kerbox said they used #malibuhope on social media and, through media coverage, they are now getting calls from people all over the world wanting to help.

Other relief efforts

Ralph’s, Food4Less donate supplies

According to a post on the California Grocers Association Facebook page, Ralphs, which has a Malibu location, and Food4Less donated several pallets of water, fruit, snacks and feminine products to the American Red Cross evacuation center at Pierce College in Woodland Hills and the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank.

Salvation Army California South Division

According to a Nov. 14 news release on its website, the Salvation Army California South Division has consolidated five evacuation shelters in Ventura County to one at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks. Since Nov. 9, they served more than 1,200 meals and nearly as many snacks to evacuees of the Woolsey and Hill Fire. The organization is seeking donations to help locally with rental assistance programs as well as food and gift card distribution. To contribute to the Salvation Army’s relief efforts, text “Wildfire” to 41444 or visit www.salvationarmy-socal.org.

Malibu Generators GoFundMe

Recognizing a need for generators, Jones Builders Group, a Malibu-based residential contractor, started a GoFundMe page Thursday, Nov. 15, to help raise money and purchase $150,000 in generators for Malibu. On their Instagram page, the group also has been detailing their supply collection and also noting their purchases of generators in the greater Los Angeles area.