Channel Islands National Park in California encompasses five remarkable islands and the dynamic ocean waters around them. Isolation over thousands of years has created unique animals, plants and archeological resources found nowhere else on Earth. And if that isn’t enough, the sunsets are amazing. Photo by Kurt Schuette (
Click here to support Disabled Firefighter Devastated! by Mel Stapper
Hi, everyone! This fundraising drive is on behalf of Mel, a retired San Francisco firefighter who was left with cortical blindness and severe burns from fighting a fire in 1995. Some time ago, a person hired to be her assistant betrayed her trust and robbed her of her entire savings, ran up her c...

Retired San Francisco firefighter Melanie (Mel) Stapper is a survivor. In March 1995, she was part of the Engine 26 crew that responded to a fire in a Diamond Heights home. One firefighter lost his life, one escaped with severe burns to his hands and arms. Mel survived, but was in a coma for four months, was burned over 40% of her body, and due to oxygen deprivation during the fire, is permanently disabled with brain damage, vision loss, seizures, and other neurological problems.

Mel depended on her assistant at that time to help her manage her household and other daily needs. This assistant took advantage of the situation and stole Melʻs whole life savings, including an inheritance from her mother who passed two years ago. She took money from her bank account and used her ATM and credit cards. She also looted personal items from Melʻs home. 

Mel is the type of person to help others, and is not one to ask for help. Her current situation is serious. She is now living pension check to pension check.