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North Bay Fire Relief Fund Provides $7 million in Grants to Nonprofits Supporting Fire Survivors

Fund raises over $31 million to aid immediate needs of fire survivors

Santa Rosa, Calif.Redwood Credit Union (RCU) announced today the RCU Community Fund is providing nearly $7 million in grants from the North Bay Fire Relief Fund to 56 nonprofits supporting the immediate needs of victims of the North Bay fires—an event that devastated the region and community after the fires erupted on October 8, 2017. The grants will help local nonprofits provide a variety of services including financial assistance, food, housing, and other vital services to fire survivors in the region.

“We believe this support of local nonprofits will be significant, in terms of providing much-needed and vital services to fire survivors, which in turn will contribute to helping our community begin to heal and recover,” said Cynthia Negri, Board President of RCU Community Fund, where the North Bay Fire Relief Fund is housed. “We’re grateful to the generous donors and our nonprofit partners for their support of fire survivors and our efforts to get aid quickly to those impacted. This has been a community effort—and we’re in this together.”

To date $31,994,006 has been donated to the North Bay Fire Relief Fund, from more than 41,000 individuals and organizations in the 15 weeks since the fires started, with donations coming from across the United States, and 23 different countries. 68% of donations have come from outside the four impacted counties.

Since its initiation, the focus of the North Bay Fire Relief Fund has been on the immediate needs of fire survivors—also known as the first phase of the disaster. There are three primary phases in disaster response: response/relief (immediate—up to first 120 days); recovery (typically up to one year); and rebuild (one or more years following a disaster). The fund has allocated or distributed nearly $31 million, and is beginning to transition efforts to key groups addressing the mid- and longer-term phases of the disaster recovery.

Following is how funds have been distributed to date to the four impacted counties (Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino and Lake Counties)—this information is also available at www.redwoodcu.org/northbayfirerelief:

  • $19,691,063 to people who lost homes and/or experienced economic hardship due to the fires. This includes the following groups who lost homes: residents, first responders, K-12 and college students. For students who lost homes, gift cards were provided to help replace school supplies and clothes lost in the fires. Support has also been provided to those who lost jobs or had a reduction in employment directly related to the fires.
  • $9,587,586 to support local nonprofits: Grants have been provided to nonprofits supporting immediate needs of fire survivors, including food, temporary housing and shelter, family support, and other vital services. For a list of the nonprofits who received NBFRF grants and are available to support fire survivor immediate needs, please visit: www.rcucommunityfund.org/north-bay-fire-relief/grants
  • $1,000,000 for small businesses impacted by the fires, made available through Lake Area Rotary Club Association (grants available to fire impacted businesses in all 4 impacted counties).
  • $692,541 to assist with fire survivor health and well-being, including health and dental care, replacement of lost sporting equipment to support impacted kids, and local holiday programs.

The North Bay Fire Relief Fund (NBFRF) was established by Redwood Credit Union Community Fund, Inc., in partnership with Redwood Credit Union, Senator Mike McGuire, and The Press Democrat. Redwood Credit Union is paying all administrative costs of the fund so 100% of donations are aiding fire survivors.

In addition to the 56 nonprofits receiving recent funding, Redwood Credit Union Community Fund partnered with numerous nonprofits in the immediate aftermath of the fires to provide resources, support grant applications and provide direct fund disbursements to fire survivors, including United Way of the Wine Country in Santa Rosa, North Coast Opportunities in Mendocino and Lake Counties, Center for Volunteer and Nonprofit Leadership in Napa, La Luz Center in Sonoma Valley, and Lake Area Rotary Club Association. “We could not have provided funding as quickly as we did to fire survivors without support of our nonprofit partners—they have simply been terrific,” Negri added.

For more information, please visit www.redwoodcu.org/northbayfirerelief.

About Redwood Credit Union

Founded in 1950, Redwood Credit Union is a full-service financial institution providing personal and business banking to consumers and businesses in the North Bay and San Francisco. RCU offers complete financial services including checking and savings accounts, auto and home loans, credit cards, online and mobile banking, business services, commercial and SBA lending, wealth management and investment services, and more. The Credit Union also offers insurance and discount auto sales through their wholly-owned subsidiary. RCU has over $4 billion in assets and serves over 300,000 Members with 17 full-service branches from San Francisco to Ukiah, more than 30,000 fee-free network ATMs nationwide, and free online and mobile banking. For more information, call 1 (800) 479-7928, visit www.redwoodcu.org, or follow RCU on Facebook at facebook.com/redwoodcu and Twitter at @Redwoodcu for news and updates.

About Redwood Credit Union Community Fund, Inc.

Redwood Credit Union Community Fund, Inc. (RCUCF) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit committed to supporting community wellness, including financial wellness and literacy efforts, and local disaster relief efforts in the North Bay and San Francisco.

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