The North Valley Community Foundation organized a Camp Fire Evacuation Relief Fund almost immediately following the start of the disastrous firestorm. Two days later, a map indicating the origin of the donations showed a wealth of generous benefactors, densely throughout the West Coast, from San Diego to Washington state. A few outliers in the Midwest and East Coast made clear news of the crisis in Northern California was spreading to our neighbors, friends and loved ones afar. Within the week, tax-deductible donations were flowing in from nearly every corner of the nation—and some internationally.
NVCF’s mobilization has been critical in the short-term—providing immediate means to care for those displaced by the fire. But the nonprofit’s good work will continue in the coming months—years even—as the money flowing in during these urgent days and hours funds recovery. As we’ve chronicled in this newspaper during visits to the fire-ravaged Ridge and surrounding hamlets, the need will be immense as our community members begin to rebuild their lives.
During this week of giving thanks, we want to express our gratitude for all of the efforts, great and small, that we’ve witnessed over the past couple of weeks. From the donations of clothing, food and other necessities to the folks who’ve opened their homes to the displaced, including strangers, we’ve seen an outpouring of compassion. For this year’s Local Heroes issue, we’ve underscored our appreciation for such volunteerism, as well as for the work of first responders and other public employees.
Another shout out goes to the folks in the private sector—from the mom-and-pop shops organizing fundraisers to the big operations in town that have scaled up campaigns. There are many of note, including Sierra Nevada Brewing Co’s $100,000 donation to its Fire Relief Fund through Golden Valley Bank. Chico’s beloved brewer is also preparing to launch Resilience Butte County Proud IPA—and asking other brewers around the country to use its recipe and join the effort (hundreds have already agreed)—with all of the proceeds earmarked for its fund.
If you’re wondering how you can help in the months ahead, we have a couple of suggestions. First, give what you can afford—whether that’s money or time. We also encourage you to continue the outreach that has spurred the generosity we’ve seen from outside this region. At this point, when folks ask what can be done to help, let them know that monetary donations are much-needed, most welcome and the best way to help our community move forward. And, of course, thank them for being there in our time of need.