CHICO (CBS13) — A token of kindness worth $1.1 million. Paradise High School students lined up Tuesday evening to get a $1,000 check from a generous stranger a couple weeks after the Camp Fire destroyed their town of Paradise.
The money is generosity from a total stranger that had some students trying to process it all.
“I’m really appreciative because we can put it towards moving on,” said Arianna Harris.
The ninth grader said her family lost everything they own in the fire. The $1,000 check represents hope.
“We hit bottom so we can only progress and get better,” Harris said.
She already knows what she plans to do with the money.
“I decided to put it toward rent. Like getting a new house,” she said.
As students lined up to get their checks, some say they are overwhelmed by the gift.
“It’s incredible to think that someone could be so kindhearted,” said 11th grader James Clery.
That someone is Bob Wilson, an executive from San Diego who has never even been to Paradise. He says he made to decision to help the students after reading a news article on the LA Times.
“They weren’t going to the prom. They weren’t going to be able to hang out with their friends or whatever they were supposed to be doing, and I said, ‘I’m going to help them,’” Wilson said.
His act of kindness means 980 students and 105 staff members at PHS will each get a check for $1,000.
“If they take away from this, ‘some guy 600 miles away thought enough to come up here and give them a check,’ that’s all the compensation I want out of it,” Wilson said.
He hopes others like him will step in and help too.
“If they see this and decide, ‘hey I can do something,’ gee, what a great thing that would be,” he said.
In the meantime, his good deed is leaving its mark on many.
“I do hope that that man knows that I’m very thankful,” Harris said.