As the Campfire continues to burn, our small community of Concow, along with Paradise, Magalia and adjacent areas have been devastated. Dave and I are among the fortunate few who did not lose our home, and we are working to help both our own family (our nephew and his family lost everything) as well as the larger community. With the help of my Bay Area friends, I am communicating how interested people can best help in the short-term. The needs will change over time and will last for years to come. We have created a short list of charitable organizations that are focused on the local community, and a short list of stores in the area for which gift cards would be especially helpful. We have also created a GoFundMe account for my nephew and his family. They are a family with 6 kids ages 7 to 16 and they lost their home and all of its contents.
Thank you very much for considering assisting our devastated community. If you have any questions, please let me know. My apologies if you receive this message more than once. Please feel free to pass this on to your own friends and family as you feel appropriate.
Best regards, Dot
GoFundMe account for my nephew and his family: Please read about his heroic efforts after his own home was destroyed here: gofundme.com/brandon039s-family-lost-everything.
Charitable Organizations (please remember to apply for a company match if that is available to you):
- Yankee Hill Fire Safe Council (YHFSC) where Dave and I are members. It is a 501c3 non profit and 100% of funds go to their immediate community. Text CampFire to 707070 for a link to donate via a Pledging fund. For background on the Yankee Hill Fire Safe Council, please see more information at the end of this message.
- United Way is the very best for supporting and engaging over the long term fire recovery efforts athttps://www.norcalunitedway.org/camp-fire or text ButteFire to 91999 for a link to donate via a Mobile Cause fund.
- North Valley Animal Disaster Group at https://www.nvadg.org/donate
- Butte Humane Society at http://buttehumane.org/donate/
Gift Card Suggestions:
$25 – $100 gift cards or cash debit cards are great. You can mail them to me (address below). I will turn them over to the Yankee Hill Fire Safe Council for distribution to those in need; or you can send me $ via PayPal using this email address, and I’ll purchase gift cards for you. Gift card suggestions from the local community:
- $50 Gas Stations (Chico stations with lower prices include Costco, Arco, Safeway, Valero)
- $25-$50 Walmart/Target
- $50-$100 Home Depot/Lowe’s
Thank you very much for considering assisting our devastated community. If you have any questions, please let me know. My apologies if you receive this message more than once. Many of my friends are helping get the word out and some of our contacts overlap.
Yankee Hill Fire Safe Council (YHFSC) Background: Why contribute to YHFSC?
- They are a well-established local organization, with wide experience in fire recovery efforts.
- All funds go directly to people in need. In the immediate aftermath of a fire they provide returning residents with everything from food, water, tools and propane tanks, to debris removal.
- They are truly “feet on the ground”. After the devastating fires of 2008 they actively reached out to residents, going door-to-door and up into the hills throughout the affected area to talk face-to-face with each household, checking up on many in the more rural/isolated areas who would otherwise have been invisible to relief efforts. They connected people with other local agencies, following up to make sure residents were getting the help they needed.
- YHFSC contracts with salvage loggers and forest debris cleanup contractors to remove dead trees from residents property, bring in rice straw to protect bare hillsides from erosion, apply for and receive grants to clear brush to create fire safe zones around homes and along rural roadways, and program manage the actual work.
- YHFSC works county-wide and has been contracted by Butte County to provide fire recovery support for other rural areas in the county. Through the hard knocks of actual experience, this Fire Safe Council is a knowledgeable and effective leader in Butte County fire recovery efforts.
- Larger relief organizations may fold their tents and leave a few weeks after the fire; Fire Safe Council members live here. They continue follow-up with some residents for years. This is not a wealthy, tech-savvy, affluent area. The ongoing outreach and individualized assistance the YHFSC provides is essential for some of the community members to be able to navigate through the many agencies and charities available to help them recover from their tremendous losses.
- Butte County government agencies and Cal Fire know Yankee Hill Fire Safe Council well and work with them.
Examples of YHFSC’s work:
- After the 2008 fires around Concow and Paradise, YHFSC coordinated the generous volunteer efforts of the Southern Baptist Church and others to provide heavy equipment to clear the ruins of destroyed homes. Those of you in the construction industry can appreciate the level of work required for demolition and cleanup of hundreds of damaged structures.
- Conducted community meetings to bring recovery stakeholders together with community residents.
- Handed out cash cards, fuel vouchers, provided tools, storage, straw, water, cleaning supplies to affected residents.
- Provided sanitation stations with bathrooms, showers to allow displaced residents a place to clean up.
- Funded and coordinated mental health therapy for residents (a fire is a true PTSD trigger event).
- Provide residents trees and plants to re-populate their properties.