Redwood Credit Union, in partnership with state Sen. Mike McGuire and Sonoma Media Investments, which owns the Argus-Courier and The Press Democrat, has established the 2017 North Bay Fire Relief Fund to assist people impacted by the wildfires that have ravaged four counties.
The credit union is paying the fund’s administrative costs, allowing all donated funds to directly aid fire victims and relief efforts.
“Our hearts go out to everyone affected by the fires,” said Brett Martinez, RCU’s president and CEO. “We know there’s a long road ahead, but the message to those who have lost so much is this: Your community cares and is with you.”
Donors may designate their contributions to all four counties — Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino and Lake — or elect to support an individual county.
The fund has already received $439,000 in donations.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with those impacted by these devastating fires,” McGuire, D-Healdsburg, said in a statement. “Please be careful and thank you for pitching in to help our neighbors.”
In 2015 and 2016, the same partnership established relief funds that supported fire victims in Lake County.
“When disasters hit a community like ours, everyone needs updated news and information,” said Steve Falk, CEO of Sonoma Media Investments. “We’re glad to be there to inform the community, pull it together and help rebuild. This fund is a perfect vehicle for thousands of people who want to join us in that effort.”
Contributions to the fund may be made online at www.redwoodcu.org/northbayfirerelief or at any of RCU’s 17 North Bay and San Francisco locations.
Checks payable to the RCU Community Fund, with 2017 North Bay Fire Relief in the memo line along with a notation “all” or a designated county, may be mailed to RCU Community Fund, P.O. Box 6104, Santa Rosa, 95406.
Companies interested in making six-figure donations may contact RCU at 545-4000 or 800-479-7928.
Two other fund-raising campaigns have been launched to assist fire victims.
The Community Foundation Sonoma County has received a $250,000 seed gift from Facebook to its Sonoma County Resilience Fund to address to mid- to long-term needs of fire victims.
Donations may be made online at www.sonomacf.org/sonoma-county-resilience-fund/.
The Santa Rosa Junior College Foundation made an initial $100,000 donation to the SRJC Fire Relief Fund, established to support the needs of an estimated 200 current students, faculty and staff members who have lost their homes or been displaced by the fires.
Donations may be made online at santarosajc.ejoinme.org/firerelief.