Philanthropic Response to the Southern California Wildfires
Updated: November 1, 2007
Beginning Sunday, October 21, 2007 Southern California experienced one of the worst fire episodes in its history. Large fires swept through large portions of Southern California, with high concentrations in San Diego County, the San Bernardino Mountains and northwestern Los Angeles County . Now that the winds have died down and most of the fires are under control, many people are returning to their neighborhoods. Many no longer have homes.
The hard work of relief and recovery now begins and philanthropy will be a major part of sustaining and nurturing the countless efforts to help people rebuild their lives.
To serve our community, Southern California Grantmakers presents here a list of local grantmakers and their response to the fires. Althought this list is not comprehensive, we hope that it provides useful information. It will be added to as we learn of more activity over the next few weeks.
If you know of other philanthropic or giving efforts, please contact Director of Communications Amy Sausser at (213) 680-8866, ext. 226 or by email at email@example.com.
Relief Funds Established
Sources of Information About Recovery Efforts
To Make Individual Donations
Relief Funds Established:
1) The California Community Foundation
The California Community Foundation established the Southern California Wildfire Relief Fund to receive contributions from donors in support of intermediate recovery needs with a particular focus on needy populations, those in need of affordable housing and nonprofits serving the affected areas.
The foundation will match the first $250,000 in contributions received to the fund and take no administrative fee from funds contributed.
When any disaster strikes metropolitan Los Angeles, the California Community Foundation (CCF) raises both public awareness of the needs related to the emergency and also funds in support of recovery. In 2003, the Southern California Wildfire Relief Fund received more than $1 million in contributions from our donors and the public for immediate and longer-term recovery issues related to the devastating fires that year. The foundation also administered $1 million in grants through a separate fund created by the Allstate Foundation.
CCF will establish partnerships with regional grantmakers in the counties affected by the fires and, with their assistance, seek out organizations and programs serving the needs of fire victims. Grants made from the fund will support not only the programs that address the most pressing needs but also the organizations most likely to succeed in their efforts. CCF will also be referring our donors to the San Diego Foundation’s fire relief fund.
445 S. Figueroa St. Suite 3400
Los Angeles, CA 90071-1638
Phone: (213) 413-4130
2) The Community Foundation Serving Riverside and San Bernardino Counties
This community foundation will be setting up a special fund for fire relief donations. Please check back here on their website for announcements about the details of the fund.
3880 Lemon Street, Suite 300
Riverside, CA 92501
Phone: (951) 684-4194
3) Jewish Community Foundation Los Angeles Los Angeles’ Jewish community has created the Fire Emergency Relief Fund which was started with an initial $100,000 amount, including a $50,000 emergency grant from the Los Angeles Jewish Community Foundation and a $50,000 commitment from the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles. This fund will primarily provide assistance to individuals and families who suffered losses as a result of the fires.
Fire Emergency Relief Fund
c/o Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles
6505 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90048
Jewish Community Foundation
4) The San Diego Foundation
In preparation for the immense recovery and rebuilding efforts the San Diego community will face, The San Diego Foundation today opened the After-the-Fires Fund for fire relief donations. As in the 2003 fire relief, this fund will support first-response efforts, but the primary focus will be ongoing recovery and rebuilding throughout the San Diego region.
2508 Historic Decatur Rd., Ste. 200
San Diego, CA 92106
Phone: (619) 235-2300
5) United Ways Join Together to Respond to Southern California Wildfires
United Ways in Southern California are responding to the devastating wildfires in two key ways: ensuring the strength of the 2-1-1 phone number for people who need help and launching the regional United Way Southern California Wildfires Recovery Fund. This Fund represents a collaboration of several United Ways across the region, including United Way of Greater Los Angeles (an SCG member), United Way of San Diego, Inland Empire United Way, Orange County United Way, United Way of the Inland Valleys, Arrowhead United Way, United Way of Santa Barbara County, United Way of Ventura County and United Way of California.
Community partnerships will be critical to the long term recovery efforts. United Way is a member of both the Coordinated Assistance Network (CAN), formed to coordinate relief efforts in the wake of natural disasters, and the Major Relief Agency Consortium (M-RAC) co-chaired by American Red Cross and UWA. Within this network, the initial response to disasters is led by the American Red Cross while United Way takes the lead in long-term recovery. Red Cross and United Way are joined by partners such as Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD), Salvation Army, AIRS, FEMA and many others in this critical work.
Phone: (858) 636-4177
Financial donations can be made to the Fund at: www.unitedway.org
If people are interested in volunteering or making in-kind donations: Dial 2-1-1.
Other Types of Giving to Wildfire Relief and Recovery:
The following philanthropic contributions to wildfire relief is not comprehensive, but includes the efforts that have been shared with SCG.
AEG Southern California Wildfire Relief Efforts- Contributions
STAPLES Center Foundation
$50,000 donation to the American Red Cross – Wildfire Relief Efforts
(Match to The Eagles commitment announced at the Nokia Theater on October 24, 2007)
Kings Care Foundation
$25,000 donation to the Salvation Army (Portion of Kings Care golf tournament proceeds)
Drive to collect additional donations at the following Los Angeles Kings games: Oct. 27, Oct. 31, Nov. 3 and Nov. 10 (this game includes a special tribute to firefighters. In addition to contributions collected at the game, a portion of ticket proceeds that night as well as silent auction proceeds will go toward relief efforts).
Los Angeles Galaxy/The Home Depot Center
Charity soccer game between Los Angeles Galaxy and Hollywood United F.C. scheduled to take place on November 4, 2007. Proceeds will benefit American Red Cross – Wildfire Relief Efforts & the Salvation Army. (Event to be underwritten by the Herbalife Family Foundation.)
Bank of America
City National Bank
Bank of America has given $1 million to to aid first responders and evacuees of the fires and has announced a disaster relief program to aid customers impacted by the Southern California wildfires, which includes: special loan options, assistance for existing loan and credit card customers, and a toll-free bilingual telephone number.
Has helped to establish the United Way Southern California Wildfires Recovery Fund with a donation of $25,000 to the fund and another $25,000 to United Way’s partner agency American Red Cross to help in their relief efforts. In addition, the bank will match up to $50,000 in donations by its 2,900 colleagues.
Hilton Hotels Corporation
The world headquarters office of Hilton Hotels Corporation has made a $15,000 contribution to the American Red Cross – California Wildfires Fund. Additionally, we are holding a team member fundraising drive through October 26, 2007, and expect to raise an additional $1,000.
The Los Angeles Times Family Fund and KTLA-5 Charities Fire Relief Campaign
This campaign is a joint effort by the McCormick Tribune Foundation, The Times and KTLA. The media companies have launched a fire relief fund that harnesses the reach of latimes.com to deliver public service assistance and provide newspapers to evacuation centers throughout the state. For every dollar donated, up to the first $500,000, the McCormick Tribune Foundation will donate an additional 50 cents and, along with The Times and KTLA, will also absorb all administrative costs, allowing all donations and the matching funds to go directly to agencies supporting disaster response and relief efforts for those affected by Southern California's massive wildfires.
All interested in participating can log on to http://www.latimes.com/firerelief or call (877) 713-0278.
Checks may be sent to Los Angeles Times/KTLA-5 Charities, Fire Relief Campaign c/o the Los Angeles Times, 202 W. 1st Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012
In addition, latimes.com is offering both Web and mobile-based assistance to evacuees today via the launch of a "people finder" http://firesearch.latimes.com. This service-minded site helps evacuees in letting family and friends know where they are and how they're doing, while conversely also providing a place to search for those that may have been evacuated.
Mattel Children's Foundation and Mattel Philanthropy Programs
Mattel has responded to the wildfires with the following activities:
- $100,000 to American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund
- $25,000 to Save the Children’s Domestic Emergency Management Unit for Safe Kits to be used in shelters
- More than 5,000 toys to Salvation Army for fire evacuees, shelters, etc.
- Opened Mattel Children’s Foundation Matching Gifts program to include matches for all disaster-related donations made by employees
Pacific Life Foundation
The Foundation has given an emergency grant of $500,000 to the American Red Cross Southern California Wildfires Fund. The funds are being made available immediately to assist the American Red Cross in their efforts as they provide shelter, food, counseling, and other assistance to those who have been affected by the Southern California wildfires.
The company has established a $5 million relief fund in response to Southern California fires, to aid its Southern California customers of San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) and Southern California Gas Co. (The Gas Company) and impacted local communities. More than half of the $5 million fund will be devoted to helping residential customers who have lost their homes to the fire and assisting them with their energy needs as they begin the process of planning and constructing their new homes. Additionally, the company will partner with a broad range of community organizations to funnel direct aid to fire victims. Sempra Energy employees also have been active in Southern California relief efforts this week. The company has donated supplies, sleeping cots, blankets and meals at evacuation centers, as well as staffed evacuee information booths.
Union Bank of California Foundation
The Foundation has announced a $200,000 commitment for wildfire relief efforts. The funds will be distributed to selected charitable organizations based on the most critical needs for emergency shelter, food, clothing and other services for disaster victims.
The UBOC Foundation is the charitable giving arm of the bank. Carl Ballton, president of the Foundation, said the most critical issues after a disaster may not be readily apparent. "We are evaluating the short- and long-term challenges and will deploy these funds where and when they are most needed."
Joanne Curran, 213-236-5017
Katie Pandes, 415-765-2617
The company has donated $60,000 to the American Red Cross to assist Southern Californians forced from their homes and has established a range of free calling service to aid victims of Southern California wildfires.
On October 25, 2007 the East Bay Business Times reported the following gifts from San Francisco-area corporations:
Bank of America also said it is taking steps to help fire victims and first responders, and is talking to government leaders to determine how best it can help. The Charlotte bank said it would contribute $1 million to relief efforts, half of which is slated to go directly to the American Red Cross and the other half to local nonprofits.
Chevron committed $500,000, including a $400,000 contribution to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund, and a $100,000 donation directed to local charities. Chevron also said it would contribute immediate support in the form of 20,000 bottles of water and 11,500 meals.
Comerica pledged a total of $100,000, including a $50,000 donation to the American Red Cross and from the Comerica Charitable Foundation, and $50,000 from Comerica Bank to local relief efforts.
Safeway Inc. donated $750,000 to relief efforts, by making $500,000 available to support local emergency organizations in areas hit hardest by the fires and 16 truckloads filled with $250,000 worth of water, diapers, infant formula and other supplies headed to emergency and evacuation centers. In addition, the 300 Vons and Pavilions stores throughout Southern California operated by Safeway will serve as collection points for individual customers who want to make donations to fire relief efforts.
Wells Fargo contributed a total of $500,000, including $250,000 to local chapters of the American Red Cross and another $250,000 to local relief agencies throughout the affected area. Wells said it would also work with customers affected by the fires through the recovery process with payment options for affected customers with an existing home mortgage; emergency unsecured loans of up to $25,000 for qualified customers; assistance on a case-by-case basis for Wells' credit card and ATM customers; and assistance in the form of emergency credit line increases and bridge and term loans for small business customers.
Other Sources of Information on Recovery Efforts in Affected Areas:
San Diego Grantmakers
The membership association for grantmakers in San Diego is an excellent resource for learning more about recovery and relief efforts .
4270 Executive Square, Suite 200
La Jolla, CA 92037
Phone: (619) 744-2180
Orange County Community Foundation
At this time, the damage to property in Orange County has not been extensive and no separate fund has been established. The Foundation will be providing assistance to organizations working with evacuees, particularly in northern San Diego.
30 Corporate Park, Suite 410
Irvine, CA 92606
Phone: (949) 553-4202
Ventura County Community Foundation
At this time, the damage in Ventura County has been less extensive and no separate fund has been established.
1317 Del Norte Road, Suite 150
Camarillo, CA 93010
Phone: (805) 988-0196
Resources for Young Children Affected by California Wildfires
Do you know a family who has been affected by the California wildfires? The stress, uncertainty, loss, and fear surrounding this natural disaster affects even babies and toddlers – whether their families are directly impacted or are simply overwhelmed and anxious about what is unfolding around them. Visit the Zero to Three website to learn more about how parents and early childhood professionals can support and nurture very young children.
The Actors Fund Offers Assistance: All Entertainment Professionals Eligible For Assistance
The Fund will provide emergency financial assistance for shelter, food, clothing, health insurance premiums, and initial resettlement support. In addition, Actors Fund staff members are available to help in a variety of other ways including: assisting with applying to FEMA and other disaster-related benefits; help in navigating the FEMA process; working with the displaced to find both temporary shelter and permanent housing; emotional support and trauma counseling; and, referrals and coordination with other industry relief funds, such as MusiCares. Those in the entertainment industry in need of services or support should contact The Actors Fund at (323) 933-9244.
American Red Cross has set up a designated fund for the Southern California Wildfires.
To donate to fire relief and recovery efforts: http://american.redcross.org/site/PageServer?pagename=ntld_main.
Humane Society of the United States has deployed volunteers and assistance to Southern California to help evacuees with pets and livestock, and to help wildlife impacted by the fires.
To donate to fire relief and recovery efforts: https://secure.hsus.org/01/disaster_relief_fund_2007/nvdaBi-11w0oh?source=gaba95.
The Salvation Army is helping evacuees and relief workers in all the affected areas.
Save the Children is helping children and their families through the wildfires.
For those interested in volunteering, see the Governor's CaliforniaVolunteers website to learn how to connect with agencies.
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