Paradise Rotary Club Update – Camp Fire Response

Paradise Rotary Club Update – Camp Fire Response

Ron Jones asked that we give an update on the Paradise Rotary Foundation’s Camp Fire Disaster Response. First of all, of our 80 Rotarians 75 either lost their homes, business’s or both so we are doing our best to help our community recover as well as taking care of our families and employees. Our Foundation is comprised of 7 board members, all of which are Paradise Rotarians and all lost their homes and business’s.

To date we have received 1.4 million in donations from all over the world. It has been fantastic to see the generosity of our fellow Rotarians. The day after the fire as we were all scrambling to find a safe place to stay the Sonoma Rotary Club and it’s members started our GoFundMe site “paradisestrong.org” and got the word out that we needed help. Their area suffered from a devastating fire the year before and they knew what it would take for us to recover. They spent numerous hours not only getting the word out but also raising thousands for our recovery.

Our initial plan was to make gift card distributions for the first 60 days after the fire then distribute funds through a grant process thereafter. Our Rotary members some of whom still have offices and staff volunteered to make deposits, process donor letters and make gift card distributions. To date we have given out over $80,000 in gift cards to those who lost their homes and did not have renters or home owners insurance or those whose jobs were affected by the disaster. These distributions were conducted through one of our members organizations that runs our Family Resource Center.

Moving forward we plan to help rebuild our communities social and physical infrastructure that was destroyed by the fire. We are setting up a grant process to make that happen. In speaking to fire victims it is not the loss of their belongings and their home that hurts the most but it is the loss of their entire community that is the most devastating. Our goal is to bring back that sense of community and make our town the Paradise it once was.

Thanks for all you do and have done for our Club and Community. To keep helping share our GoFundMe page at https://paradisestrong.org. Feel free to use any of the images from our Facebook, twitter or other media in your efforts.

It is the outpouring of support both in monetary contributions and in actions by Rotarians, Clubs, Districts and Rotary International that makes your efforts so special. Please pass this on to your Rotarian Friends, Club, District and Rotarians Worldwide. The joy is in the giving and serving as Rotarian’s.

Dean Fender
Board Member

 

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