Community coming to aid of fire survivors, help still needed

From mopping shelter floors and unpacking donated supplies to searching for displaced animals, CFA activists and staff have been volunteering time and resources to helping support our colleagues and neighbors impacted by the Camp Fire in Paradise.

Faculty activists dedicated countless hours in recent weeks to relief efforts. On Monday, Nov. 19, CFA staff filled an SUV trunk with bottled water, hand sanitizer, and gift cards and headed to Chico, where they cleaned an evacuation shelter and spent hours sorting supplies at a distribution center and packing a van with food, toiletries, clothes, and blankets for evacuees sheltered in nearby Chester.

On Thursday, Nov. 29, members of CFA’s Capitol Chapter will join with other union members at Sacramento State to hold a ‘Unity Break’ and collect donations for fire relief efforts. Click here for details.

The Camp Fire is the deadliest blaze in California history, having resulted in 88 deaths and the destruction of 13,972 homes and 4,821 other buildings, and destroyed more than 240 square miles. The fire impacted more than 1,640 Chico State faculty, staff, and students, with 166 of those reporting having lost their homes, according to campus news.

The outpouring of help and care has been meaningful for survivors and those helping them, and continued support will be needed in the weeks and months to come, said Susan Green, CFA Treasurer and a Chico State professor.

“Everyone has been so generous with their time and donations, and we need to keep that giving spirit alive. The immediate threat is over, but so many families and people are still struggling and those needs are going to be amplified moving into the holidays and winter,” she said.

A disaster relief fund also has been established at Channel Islands for students, faculty, and staff impacted by the Hill or Woolsey Fires. Click here to donate or apply for relief.

This week, Chancellor Timothy White was at Chico State—which had been closed for more than two weeks—and thanked volunteers from the campus for all they’d done and would be doing in coming weeks and months for the Camp Fire evacuees. The power of the CSU, White said, is in its size and ability to respond to crises such as these.

The university established the Wildcats Rise Fire Recovery Fund to help those directly impacted by the Nov. 8 fire. To date, more than $512,000 has been raised.

Here are more ways to donate and/or help those impacted:

  • Caring Choices is helping connect volunteers with various relief efforts. Click here for information or to make a monetary donation.
  • The North Valley Animal Disaster Group is caring for animals in the evacuation zone and in shelters. Click here to learn more and donate.
  • The Wildcats Rise Fire Recovery Fund is providing financial assistance to students, faculty, and staff for clothing and household goods, electronics such as computers and phones, transportation, child care assistance, temporary housing, school supplies, and meal assistance. Click here to donate and learn more.
  • SEIU California’s Disaster Relief Fund provides financial assistance to union members impacted by the California wildfires. Click here to learn more and make a donation.
  • CTA also maintains a Disaster Relief Fund, which provides members (including CFA members) with financial assistance for significant loss due to disasters in California. Click here to learn more and/or apply.
  • California Volunteers was created by the Office of the Governor to help connect people with volunteer opportunities. Click here to get connected.