Summary Report and Thank You to Donors!
Shortly after the Butte Fire started on September 9, 2015, the Calaveras Community Foundation (CCF) created the Disaster Relief Fund (DRF) to help fire victims. Almost immediately, donations via PayPal began streaming into our small office. Checks, from $5 to as large as $100,000, followed, as well as children contributing change. The donors were predominately from throughout California, but some came from across the country and even a few from Europe. Groups organized various fundraisers in Northern California. Many other non-profit organizations based outside Calaveras County reached out to our Foundation with offers of help and money. To date, through the generosity of the above donors, we have received over $500,000.
Under IRS rules, a 501(c)(3) non-profit such as CCF is not permitted to give cash directly to fire victims. Fortunately, there is a network of Calaveras based non-profits who quickly mobilized to provide direct aid to fire victims. Many of these groups, some based directly inside the fire perimeter, are not normally involved with emergency response. But, they saw the need to help and to do so quickly. Almost all of those groups are comprised solely of volunteers. It is those groups, listed below, that the CCF Board decided to financially help as the best and most direct way to help fire victims.
- Calaveras Grown – provided and applied rice straw as an erosion control method
- Calaveras County Humane Society – paid for veterinary care to animals injured by the fire
- Mountain Ranch Relief – most of the funding was used for temporary housing
- Friends of the Rail Road Flat School – provided a variety of care to victims, including bringing in a trailer to distribute necessities like toothpaste, personal items, water and canned food.
- Common Ground – provided temporary lodging to seniors during the fire
- Friends of Calaveras Animal Services, associated with the Calaveras Humane Society – storage of animal food and supplies donated to them by animal lovers
- Calaveras County Habitat for Humanity – aid in home rebuilding
- Salvation Army – Calaveras County Unit – direct aid during the fire
- The Resource Connection – provided storage for donations of food, clothing, furniture, etc.
- The Central Calaveras Fire and Rescue (the local fire department) – replacement of private road names and addresses that were destroyed.
- The Calaveras County Association of Realtors Charities – storage sheds, power poles, well repair and similar items to help in the rebuilding of homes
- The Calaveras Arts Council – creation of a fire memorial in Mountain Ranch.
The largest and latest grant is $200,000 reserved to aid Calaveras Recovers (CR), a new organization located within the fire perimeter, in rebuilding homes. The typical recipient was uninsured or underinsured. Using faith-based donated labor, and other financial resources available, they and the victims will build new houses. The CCF funds will provide the needed “gap funding” to build at least five homes that might otherwise not be built.
To date, over $486,000 has been granted or committed to the groups and purposes identified above. We are thankful that donations are still coming in, as there are still needs in the community.
On behalf of the CCF Board of Directors, thank you for your generous donation to the Disaster Relief Fund.