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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey seniors call Seniors’ Centre Without Walls, a new-to-B.C. program

‘Crazy coincidence’ saw program connect soon after COVID-19 pandemic hit

Surrey pushing the poor out of Whalley, public hearing speakers say

‘There is a war on the poor here in Surrey,’ resident Dave Diewert tells city council

IHIT investigating death of Surrey woman

Injured woman was taken to SMH early Tuesday morning

Charges laid in 2019 single-vehicle crash in Surrey that killed young soccer star

Dilpreet Sandhu, 19, faces eight charges in early morning crash that killed Brandon Bassi

Surrey Mounties seize guns, drugs and cash from Guildford residence

One man was arrested but no charges have been laid as investigation continues

If Trudeau won’t stand up to Trump, how will regular people: Singh

Trudeau did not directly answer a question about Trump’s actions amid protests

VIDEO: Internal investigation into aggressive arrest by Kelowna Mountie

A video allegedly shows a Kelowna Mountie striking a man several times

COVID claims 23rd Langley Lodge patient, making it the deadliest outbreak in B.C.

Coronavirus kills another senior at Langley care home, bringing B.C. total to 166

Family of dead B.C. football star urge changes to mental health policies in hospitals

Uko family disappointed in actions of Regina hospital, hosting public funeral service this weekend

Help the ‘Cloverdale Reporter’ continue its mission to provide trusted local news

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

22 new COVID-19 test-positives, one death following days of low case counts in B.C.

Health officials urged British Columbians to ‘stand together while staying apart’

John Horgan says COVID-19 restrictions won’t be eased regionally

B.C. Liberals urge ‘tailored’ response based on infections

Feds get failing grade for lack of action plan on anniversary of MMIWG report

‘Instead of a National Action Plan, we have been left with a Lack-of-Action Plan’

Maple Ridge woman fights WorkSafe BC over police widow’s pension

Dalila Vroom says husband, Const. Rob Vroom, died as a result of PTSD from time with Abbotsford PD

Most Read