By Sosie Casteel | Writer
October 4, 2020
In the burning landscape of Northwestern Oregon, a little green face with two adorable plastic eyes stands out against the ruins.
The eyes belong to a Baby Yoda doll that 5-year-old Carver and his grandmother donated to the firefighters hard at work in his home state of Oregon. With his grandmother’s help, Carver wrote a note to go with the doll saying, “Thank you, firefighters. Here is a friend for you, in case you get lonely. Love, Carver.”
Baby Yoda is a beloved character from Disney’s newest Star Wars television show, The Mandelorian. Since his first appearance on screen, Baby Yoda has become an internet sensation.
A donation employee brought the doll to the firefighters working to contain the 25-acre Unger Road Fire near the city of Colton. The employee, 34-year-old Tyler Eubanks, took photos with the firefighters and their new friend to send to Carver. She thought that would be the end of the affair, but the firefighters asked to keep it.
Now the doll travels from fire crew to fire crew, marking its path with pictures, which get posted to its own personal Facebook page, “Baby Yoda Fights Fires.” Eubanks put her phone number on Yoda’s back and posts the pictures that she receives from the fire crews.
According to Eubanks, the pictures with the doll put “faces behind the wildfires” and give the firefighters hope amongst the destruction that threatens their lives as they risk containing it.
“My dad has been fighting the fires across California with his team,” junior Elle McGovern said.“I’m so proud of my dad and every firefighter because it takes a lot of bravery and dedication to do their job.”
Many firefighters spend a lot of time away from their families, and the doll reminds them of their children back home. Just like Carver hoped, it keeps them company.
“I miss my dad a lot, especially when he goes to fight fires, but he loves what he does and I’m proud of him for it,” junior Jenna Garvey said. Her dad generally responds to calls locally but also gets sent to battle wildfires elsewhere.
Baby Yoda blew up on social media where he can be seen eating breakfast with the crew, in an airplane to drop a fire retardant, supervising a fire briefing, and several other smoky adventures. He now bears a bandana and an official firefighter t-shirt and often travels attached to the backpacks of the crew members.
Enthusiastic comments from all over the country fill the Facebook page, supporting both Baby Yoda and the firefighters. Although a simple gesture, this children’s toy turned into a comforting message in support of the firefighters braving the flames in Oregon.