Dear friends of Dharmata,
Many of you have heard of the destructive Soberanes wildfire burning in a large area of the wilderness terrain between Carmel and Big Sur on the central coast of California. It started July 22nd and has steadily grown, engulfing thousands of acres of the drought parched trees and underbrush in this beautiful wilderness area. In some places it has overtaken homes and structures in its path.
Sadly, Dharmata’s newly established Sweetwater Sanctuary was also caught in the blaze, along with the Rocky Creek community of our friends and neighbors. We are learning that several structures at Sweetwater were completely burned, while a few amazingly survived, though it is too soon to know the full extent of the damage. Most everyone in our canyon neighborhood lost their homes in the blaze. The entire area including Sweetwater Sanctuary was evacuated and everyone is safely accounted for, though the devastation to the natural forest population is untold.
The caretaker house at Sweetwater Sanctuary was one of the structures that succumbed to the fire. Thankfully our resident caretakers Kay and Cory are safe; however, they lost many of their personal belongings in the fire. A portion of the proceeds received in the Emergency Fund Campaign will go to help them in the short term with expenses related to their losses.
Just prior to the fire we were in the planning stages of a capital campaign for Sweetwater Sanctuary, which we intended to launch this Fall. The campaign included raising funds to repay the $1.1 million loan taken on by Dharmata Foundation to acquire the land.
In light of this disastrous event, we are proceeding now to raise funds in support of Sweetwater Sanctuary, for both the immediate Emergency Recovery and to pay the loans incurred by Dharmata to acquire the property.
The current $1.1 million goal will be expanded to include the costs of restoration and development once we know the full extent of the losses and rebuilding costs, above and beyond what our fire insurance will cover. We will provide updates as the information regarding the extent of the damage to the property becomes available.
Some of you have also joined the Friends of Sweetwater in support of the annual operation of the hermitage. We are deeply grateful for your dedicated support and welcome new Friends of Sweetwater to join in this endeavor. We anticipate that ongoing support for general operations will be crucial to the sustainability of the Sweetwater Sanctuary.
Your donations will greatly assist Dharmata in the fire recovery and ongoing operation of the Sweetwater Sanctuary. All contributions are tax-deductible. You can donate directly on line at:
or by mailing a check. Checks can be made out to Dharmata Foundation. Please use the memo line to designate Sweetwater Sanctuary. Checks may be mailed to: Dharmata Foundation, 235 Washington Ave. Point Richmond, CA 94801.
We are so grateful for your kind generosity. With your support the vision for Dharmata’s beloved Sweetwater Sanctuary and the Hermitage Project will continue to grow and thrive.
With palms joined,
Anam Thubten, Spiritual Advisor
Sandra Hansen, President
May all beings benefit.