Jan 11, 2021

A final update on the 2018 California Wildfires

Photo: Ventura County Community Foundation
Photo: Ventura County Community Foundation

As we put 2020 behind us, we are reminded that perseverance is a collective and shared effort. Perseverance requires a diverse group of community leaders, ready and willing to respond to the needs presented by modern challenges. This perseverance has been embodied by countless disaster-affected communities on their journey to recovery, especially those impacted by the repeated trauma brought by wildfire seasons in California. While 2018 may feel like a lifetime ago, the 2018 California wildfire season was the deadliest and most destructive wildfire season on record—only rivaled by last year’s season— during which more than 7,000 fires burned nearly 1.7 million acres. Climate-fueled dry seasons have sparked scores of increasingly destructive fires over recent years. As extreme wildfire seasons become the norm, climate change and its impacts continue to threaten vulnerable communities and ecosystems across California. 

It’s for all of these reasons that we thank you for your extreme generosity. By giving to GlobalGiving’s 2018 California Wildfire Relief Fund, you joined more than 4,000 others to raise nearly $1.4 million in support of Californian communities as they recover and rebuild. 

Our Disaster Response Team is now closing this Fund after more than two years of providing direct financial support to GlobalGiving’s network of community-led nonprofit partners in California. While the fund may be closing, these partners remain committed to responding to needs exacerbated by the fires and to mitigate future risks. 

Here’s a snapshot of how your financial support helped some of our incredible partners in our final round of flexible grants:

  • The Community Foundation of Mendocino County has been committed to understanding how wildfires impact the rural/urban communities in Mendocino County to gain a comprehensive picture of their priorities following the devastating 2018 and 2020 fires. Its Community Resiliency and Disaster Preparedness Fund has been a powerful tool to increase fire-impacted communities' capability to withstand future disasters. Through this fund, the organization has granted a generator to a local radio station to ensure that people living in rural areas receive critical, accurate information in times of disaster or crisis.
  • Following the Woolsey and Hill Fires, the 805 Undocufund was launched with the Ventura County Community Foundation's support. The fund helps undocumented individuals and families impacted by disasters get the support and resources necessary to recover and rebuild their lives. Because this community does not have access to federal safety net programs, they are often ignored in greater response efforts. The fund is now also assisting families impacted by COVID-19 by providing support ranging from repairing essential vehicles to dental expenses. 
  • California Vocations serves adults with developmental disabilities through residential and vocational support. Following the 2018 Camp Fire, three of its residential living centers and 25 transportation vehicles were destroyed. Many of its constituents still need essential housing improvements. California Vocations is working to meet this need by providing wheelchair ramps, new roofs, and remodeled bathrooms to its constituents.

We’re sad to say goodbye, but we hope you’ll join us by giving to our new California Wildfire Relief Fund. This fund will provide much-needed support to community-led organizations committed to driving ongoing wildfire recovery in California. 

Thank you for your commitment to long-term disaster recovery.

With gratitude,
Mikaela + the GlobalGiving Team

Jan 6, 2021

The fires are out, but the work rages on

Photo from CFSCC
Photo from CFSCC

As the new year gets underway, it can be soothing to look only forward, especially after the doozy that was 2020. But for many in California, that luxury is fleeting. The now annual fire season brought the largest fire in recorded history, and for several weeks, a new fire erupted every day, displacing thousands. Near San Jose, the SCU Lightning Complex Fire burned uncontrolled for weeks before consuming nearly 400,000 acres of land. As structures went up in flames, the air quality reached dangerous levels just a few miles from the home I grew up in, and closer to the assisted living community where my dad still lives.  

Watching the reports of destruction and dislocation was terrifying and heart-wrenching.  

Just 30 miles west, the CZU August Lightning Complex Fire erupted in Santa Cruz County on August 17th and traveled along the peninsula that joins San Francisco to Monterey, where I spent many summer afternoons in the redwoods and near the coast. The fire forced businesses to close and families to evacuate from their homes—if they had homes. For a month, residents watched and waited as more than 86,500 acres and more than 1,500 structures burned. Thanks to your generosity, GlobalGiving was able to provide emergency funds to organizations responding to the immediate needs of impacted communities and those working to help ensure that the scorched forests might regenerate.

But nearly six months later, the nonprofits of Santa Cruz County are still working to assist individuals, families, and businesses who suffered devastating losses. This includes undocumented residents and hundreds of people experiencing homelessness who can’t access federal funding programs. The ongoing crisis comes on top of another ongoing crisis: COVID-19 and California’s recent case surge.

That’s why GlobalGiving is providing the Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County (CFSCC) with a $50,000 grant from this fund. In August, the CFSCC mobilized immediately and has been, from its Fire Response Fund, allocating funds to local nonprofits responding to these dual crises. Here’s what your contribution will support with this new grant:

  • Continuing to support, in consultation with impacted community members, local nonprofits addressing unmet needs, particularly addressing gaps left by FEMA, insurance providers, and others with restrictive policies.
  • Determining the optimal approach for long-term recovery management. The Community Foundation has been bringing representatives of all impacted communities and service providers together, and this funding will help them continue to provide leadership as this process seeks to establish a “whole community” approach to long-term disaster recovery.

This is just one of many grants we will make in the coming months, as we support ongoing recovery from Mendocino to the Mexico border.  

Your generous support makes this work possible.  

With Gratitude,

Donna Callejon + the GlobalGiving Team

Jan 4, 2021

Project of the Month Club Update: January 2021

Storytime with Yayasan Usaha Mulia
Storytime with Yayasan Usaha Mulia

Dear Project of the Month Club Member,

I truly can’t express how grateful I am that you’ve resolved to continue making the world a better place in 2021! Your generosity will play a crucial role in supporting nonprofits across the world as they help their communities overcome the long-term impacts of COVID-19. 

Last month, you joined an incredible 620 donors, raising $25,220 in support of Fundación Calicanto’s life-changing efforts to provide professional training opportunities for women in Panama. 

To ring in the new year, we’re crossing the globe (virtually, of course) to bring you yet another inspirational initiative. 

I’m thrilled to introduce Yayasan Usaha Mulia (YUM) and their project Help Promote Good Reading Habits in Kalimantan

For more than 4 years, YUM has worked to increase the quality of children's education in Bukit Batu, Indonesia. The organization’s Community Library, which is the only library in the region, ensures that more than 500 children are able to access books, participate in educational activities, and build community.  

When Executive Director Vanessa Reksodipoetro learned that YUM was joining the Project of the Month Club, she sent this message of gratitude:

After a very tough year, what a blessing to discover that we were selected as Project of the Month for January 2021! This nomination enforces our belief that hard work and continued optimism can get us through any challenges ahead. We’ve seen first-hand how the generosity of the collective has stepped up in 2020, and this is the icing on the cake!

Vanessa also shared how plans for how your generosity will help YUM support the children in their community this year. 

The funds we receive will help continue the tutoring sessions in our library in Central Kalimantan. With 9 months of being out of school, the children living in rural Indonesia are experiencing a tremendous learning loss and we hope the small group tutoring sessions can help to ensure that the basics of reading, writing and simple maths are achieved. Once the library can reopen, the funds received will also help other activities such as the English Club, Computer Club, Science Club as well as our Dance and Arts activities.

To learn more about how YUM  is helping children continue their education, check out their most recent report

Thank you so much for your compassion and commitment. Wishing you and your loved ones a happy and healthy New Year!  


Alix Guerrier 

GlobalGiving CEO

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