Our hearts go out to all who have been impacted by this tragedy. We are deeply grateful for our heroic first responders and the outpouring of community support. While the full scope of damage remains to be seen, to date more than 200,000 acres have burned, killing 42 people and destroying more than 5,700 structures in the North Bay. At least 100,000 people have been displaced and dozens are still missing. We always think about low-income and vulnerable communities living at the margins who are disproportionately impacted by crises, including immigrant farmworkers, renters, and hourly employees.
Hirsch & Associates has been thoughtfully monitoring disaster relief efforts in the North Bay. As the long-term impacts on jobs, housing, schools, health and the economy become clearer, additional relief needs and disaster resources will arise in the coming weeks and we are staying tuned into those efforts. With that in mind, we are currently recommending three opportunities to support emergency response and recovery:
- Silicon Valley Community Foundation’s Northern California Fire Fund is a joint effort by the three Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino County community foundations. The Fund is convening nonprofit and local government leaders to assess needs, short-term gaps, and long-term recovery efforts. This collaborative effort will coordinate philanthropic and public resources across the region to effectively support those most in need.
- Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugee’s UndocuFund for Fire Relief will provide direct funding to support the 28,000 undocumented immigrants who live and work in Sonoma County but are not eligible to receive FEMA assistance. The UndocuFund will help individuals and families with expenses incurred directly as a result of the fires, including temporary housing, home repairs, medical and dental expenses, tools and equipment required for work, and other essential support.
- Latino Community Foundation’s NorCal Fire Relief Fund supports three strong, local Latino nonprofit organizations – North Bay Organizing Project, in Santa Rosa; La Luz Center, in Sonoma; and UpValley Family Centers in Calistoga – that work with families and farmworker communities, and will coordinate regional resources over the long-term. Latinos are a vital part of Northern California’s economy, making up 71% of the region’s workforce at vineyards and agricultural businesses and 40% of the tourism and hospitality workforce but often living paycheck to paycheck.
None of these funds have administrative fees associated with a contribution, so 100% of donations will support individuals and communities impacted by the fires. If you are interested, we are happy to help expedite a gift to one of these worthy efforts, or provide recommendations for a more specific geography or issue area. Please let us know if you have any questions about these opportunities.
Read the latest wildfire updates here.