ONTARIO, Calif. (9/23/15--The California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues and Firefighters First CU of Los Angeles have issued a challenge to the states’ credit unions, seeking to raise $500,000 to assist residents and firefighters in Middletown, Calif., and the surrounding Lake County areas devastated by wildfires this week.
The leagues and the credit union’s charitable arm, Fire Family Foundation, are challenging each credit union by asset size to donate:
Firefighters First CU has already pledged $5,850. Members of Mendo Lake CU and Redwood CU have especially been impacted, the leagues said.
“The need is immediate,” said leagues President/CEO Diana Dykstra. “With five fatalities, more than 13,000 people still evacuated, hundreds with no homes to return to, and the fire contained at only 30%, immediate help is needed.
“We are asking all California and Nevada credit unions to come to the aid of your neighbors and fellow California residents by lending a helping hand. Our goal, to raise $500,000, needs a commitment from each credit union,” she added. So far, more than $50,000 has been raised to support the efforts.
The fires have enlisted responses from other California-based credit unions. For example, Sacramento-based Golden 1 CU recently held a telethon and raised $1.3 million for victims of all recent fires.
All funds will go to the Middletown Relief Fund, established by the Fire Family Foundation, in conjunction with the leagues. They will be used to pay expenses from food, mortgages and rent, to immediate needs for both firefighters and fire victims. The foundation pledges 100% of the funds to Middletown and the surrounding communities.
Donations to the Middletown Relief Fund are tax-deductible. To donate, visit www.FireFamilyFoundation.org and enter Middletown Relief Fund; call 88-5-FFF-GIVE, or make checks payable to Fire Family Foundation, 815 Colorado Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90041 with a notation: Middletown Relief Fund.
The fires have destroyed more than 1,000 homes and left others damaged or without power, according to the Chicago Tribune (Sept.21). The Middletown fire is considered the fourth worst in the state’s history, based on total structures destroyed, said WSFA 12 (Sept. 21).