SACRAMENTO, Calif. (8/12/15)--Wildfires throughout Northern California and other parts of the state have sent residents scrambling for safer ground, many not knowing whether their homes will still be there once they return.
But help is on the way.
A number of credit unions have established relief funds to help anyone who suffers damage to their home from the major fires encircling many parts of the state.
Redwood CU, Santa Rosa, Calif., for example, has partnered with a local newspaper to create a fund that will assist in providing relief in the Lake County area, which sits near the massive Rocky and Jerusalem fires (Sonoma County Gazette Aug. 1).
Donations, which are accepted at all of the credit union’s 16 locations, can be made with a cash deposit, a direct funds transfer or a check payable to Redwood CU, and all funds will be disbursed to nonprofit agencies and first-responders in the Lake County community.
“Our hearts go out to everyone affected by the fires in Lake County,” said Brett Martinez, Redwood president/CEO (Sonoma County Gazette). “Accepting contributions for fire relief efforts is our way of offering assistance, and responding to requests of our members and others in the community who would like to help.”
Mendo Lake CU (MLCU), Ukiah, Calif., also serves the Lake County area, which continues to be threatened by the Rocky Fire, and the credit union also has partnered with local organizations to provide relief efforts.
The credit union has pledged to match the first $5,000 in donations made to North Coast Opportunities--a local social services organization--that will be used as part of North Coast’s emergency relief fund.
“One-third of our membership base is located in Lake County, and our Clearlake office has already seen the need from members who have lost everything,” said Richard Cooper, MLCU president/CEO.
Further north in the state, Coast Central CU, Eureka, Calif., is reaching out by helping subsidize aid packages that will be given to fire victims in Trinity County.
Agility Recovery, a CUNA Strategic Services strategic alliance provider, also offers a number of steps credit unions can take to be prepared for wildfires themselves, including: