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Camp Fire - How You Can Help

The following information on donations for the Camp Fire comes from Sacramento County (view the original document):

In the wake of the needs for wildfire survivors, we ask that you consider donating responsibly. Your monetary donations can go much further and more strategically than donated goods or items. Monetary donations also allow for discounts through bulk purchasing that can't be achieved through single items. Furthermore, infusion of cash helps to rebuild the local economy through local spending and allow survivors to get back to a new normal faster. Use sites like Charity Navigator to assess an organization's history to make choices in where to direct your donation. Local food banks typically provide immediate needs, while re-building organizations help months down the road in recovery.

The following donation entities need assistance in Butte County:

  • Per the Butte County website, monetary donations can be made via the North Valley Community Foundation website: https://www.nvcf.org/fund/camp-fire-evacuation-relief-fund/
     
  • Hope Center in Oroville (1950 Kitrick Ave Ste. A) is taking in-kind donations. Visit their website for the latest update on needs and drop-off schedule.
     
  • The Butte County Office of Education created the Schools Fire Relief Fund to provide a one-stop location where individuals or organizations could provide support directly to schools in Butte County. Donors can either specify a specific district or use (textbooks, clothes, etc.) for the funds or make an open donation. Website: https://www.nvcf.org/fund/butte-county-schools-fire-relief-fund/

If you are looking for organizations to direct your resources, look first to 501c3 community foundations in the area affected, make sure they have a connection to the emergency operation center and are documenting donations (in a state proclamation or federal declaration, documented donations can receive a match towards the agency’s financial obligation). Additionally, seek out members of Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD). These organizations are dedicated to service provision during disaster and remain for recovery long after professional rescuers have left and returned home to their jobs. Recovery takes YEARS - so consider donating a month, a year or even 5 years from now... the communities will still need that assistance.

While many hearts are in the right place, collected goods can clog the system and burden rescuers and volunteers with managing un-asked-for items.

If you would like to volunteer please go to www.caring-choices.org to complete the application process and wait for direction. They are the assigned volunteer coordination organization. DO NOT drive into the area without instruction or permission. It is still an actively dangerous place and your presence may impede first responders and relief workers.

Lastly, be part of the solution with personal responsibility. Be prepared for a disaster coming your way:

  1. Register for www.Yolo-Alert.org so you may receive emergency messages from the city and county. If and when an evacuation order is issued, follow it, don’t stay behind.
     
  2. Set aside emergency items in a disaster kit. Think about what you would need to be comfortable in a prolonged power outage, most of those supplies will help maintain some normalcy in disaster. Or visit www.ready.gov for suggestions based on all sorts of threats.
     
  3. Assess your financial health and weigh your risks. Make sure you are properly insured. Just because you are not in a “FEMA” floodplain does not mean you shouldn’t purchase flood insurance. Make sure all your other insurance needs are met and set aside an emergency fund so you may access cash rapidly.
     
  4. Get trained and volunteer. You can take Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training to help your neighbors in the aftermath of a disaster. VOAD and many religious institutions have dedicated groups who assist in disaster response and recovery - get involved.

From Butte County Superintendent of Schools:

Many of you have asked how can you help the schools up here. We really appreciate everyone's support, kindness and generosity. I want you to know trucks of food, clothing and items are arriving to help us. For schools, we need donations that our Foundation will give directly to teachers, administrators, and staff so they don't have to worry about waiting for purchases. Please share this and thanks for everything--we feel your love! If you have a large contribution that you want to go specifically to something you can type that in where it says: How Do You Want To Be Recognized.

The Camp Fire, currently burning in the heart of Butte County, California, is the largest and most destructive fire in California history. In less than three days, the Camp Fire has permanently or temporarily displaced more than 50,000 people, burned nearly at least 6,500 homes have been destroyed over 300 businesses, making it one of the worst disasters in American history.

We do not have the count of how many educators have lost homes as the area has not been fully surveyed--but we know it will be 100s if not 1,000s.

The depth of this crisis has just begun to unfold but one of the first things that will impact the affected communities for years to come is the loss of schools. To date, multiple schools have been lost, displacing at least 4,000 students from pre-school through high school. This impact will affect the survivability of communities in Butte County for years to come.

We have set up Butte Schools Foundation specifically for educational purposes for schools, students, and staff. Our immediate goals:

  1. We need cash donations to buy gas cards, gift cards, and bus passes.
  2. We need cash donations to purchase 5,000 laptops TO RECONNECT BUTTE STUDENTS/FAMILIES WITH THEIR TEACHERS. We need 5,000 laptops to give to students, teachers and school administrators. We have a team of IT experts and Educational Technology teachers ready to train, distribute and support.
  3. We need cash donations so district and charter school principals have discretionary funding to get their schools back in order.

Many of you have asked about sending clothes, shoes, diapers and food. There are other agencies handling that and we truly appreciate working with those agencies to get our families their basic needs. We will have longer term needs that we will publicize within the next few weeks to assist schools with the impact of the Camp Fire.

I will be assigning a Foundation team from district and charter schools to oversee and ensure that all of these funds are solely focused on schools and education.

We appreciate all of your support, kindness and help since this tragedy hit our county.

Please donate to https://www.nvcf.org/fund/butte-county-schools-fire-relief-fund/

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