Support Relief and Recovery of Communities Affected By Historic California Wildfires

The historic wildfires still raging in California have devastated communities and claimed dozens of lives. The Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP), its donors and local partners have responded with urgency to support recovery and rebuilding made complicated by the Covid-19 pandemic, especially in the state’s most vulnerable communities.

“We, Californians, have always joked about our resilience toward earthquakes and wildfires. I could have never imagined seeing several historic fires and fire seasons in such a short period,” wrote Brennan Banks, director of CDP’s disaster recovery funds. “This new phase of heightened wildfire activity in the state requires more resources for communities to be able to keep up with this threat and save lives, homes and livelihoods.”

COVID-19 is making this year’s immediate relief and recovery efforts incredibly challenging. For example, emergency response personnel need to provide additional resources to accommodate non-congregate housing because of the pandemic. Additionally, many migrants or undocumented laborers who work at California’s farms do not have adequate personal protective equipment to fight COVID-19 or deal with smoke from fires. And the continuing threat of fire adds to the stress from the pandemic, putting additional strain on mental health and counseling services.

Through the CDP California Wildfires Recovery Fund, CDP is prioritizing people and communities who are disproportionately affected. With local partners’ help, grants fill in gaps where public resources are unavailable or scarce. CDP gives locally, especially to small nonprofits and community groups. It uses the power of collaboration by building connections and relationships among donors to maximize impact.

The North Valley Community Foundation (NVCF) received a substantial grant from CDP after the 2018 Camp Fire, the most destructive and deadliest fire in California’s history, devastated Butte County communities. Nearly two years later, the North Complex Fire has once again affected these communities still trying to recover. Thanks to CDP’s grant and support from other partners such as Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. and the Aaron Rodgers NorCal Fire Recovery Fund, NVCF was prepared to respond to immediate community needs.

“When the Camp Fire hit and we were such a large disaster, we didn’t have one organization in our community that specifically responded to disasters,” said David Little, executive vice president of programs and communications at NVCF. “Now, there are 10 different nonprofit organizations that make up the core of case management and donations management. We just had 50 AmeriCorps Case Managers sworn in during August 2020.”

CDP is thankful to Make It Better Media Group/Marin Magazine for donating to the CDP California Wildfires Recovery Fund. They join First Republic Bank, The Gap Foundation, The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, Twilio, and many other generous donors across the country who have supported our communities across the state as they work to prepare, rebuild and recover from the fires.

Donate to the CDP California Wildfires Recovery Fund today. Make It Better Media Group will match gifts up to $25,000 through December 31, 2020.

This article originally appeared on Better.net.