August 11, 2021
Nearly $4.7 Million Deployed for Long-Term Rebuilding of Communities Impacted by 2020 Fires in Oregon
Oregon Community Foundation, Meyer Memorial Trust, The Ford Family Foundation and American Red Cross Now Turn Attention to 2021
The 2020 Community Rebuilding Fund, a collaborative effort led by Oregon Community Foundation (OCF) in partnership with Meyer Memorial Trust, The Ford Family Foundation and American Red Cross, announced today $4,439,256 in grants to support 40 organizations throughout the eight Oregon counties ravaged by fires. OCF donors contributed an additional $235,000 this summer to support rebuilding efforts as well.
A complete list of the grantees is available online in OCF Press Room.
“Fire is inevitable, catastrophes are not,” says Sonia Worcel, Chief Community Impact Officer, Oregon Community Foundation. “Working together, we can reduce the risks of devastating fires now and in the future while ensuring that communities and philanthropic organizations are able to respond effectively. We will continue to be collaborative, nimble, and forward-thinking, as we support community-led solutions to address crisis in our state.”
The 2020 Community Rebuilding Fund is distributing millions of philanthropic dollars to fire-affected communities for their rebuilding efforts. “We directly engaged with communities throughout Oregon, particularly those disproportionately impacted, including communities of color, low-income and rural communities,” says Michelle J. DePass, President and CEO, Meyer Memorial Trust. “It’s important to listen and learn from community members about their needs and identify gaps in funding so that we can prioritize equitable philanthropic investments for rebuilding.”
The 2020 Community Rebuilding Fund set a goal of raising $10 million and has successfully raised $9.3 million to date from individuals, families, corporations and other foundations since September 2020. Contributions can be made online at: www.oregoncf.org/rebuilding. Remaining funds will be awarded monthly throughout the Fall 2021.
“Community input and support is critical to address both immediate needs and the long-term rebuilding phase after the attention on the disaster wanes,” says Anne Kubisch, President, The Ford Family Foundation. “We are humbled by the level of community engagement to rebuild and help those in need over the long haul, across the state.”
Following is a snapshot of some of the community organizations supported through the Community Rebuilding Fund:
Glide Revitalization | $150,000.00. Will serve a broad rural community that has high rates of poverty as well as vulnerable populations, including elderly community members and people living with disabilities.
Coalicion Fortaleza | $100,000.00. Will serve Latina/o/x families impacted by the Almeda fire in the areas of Talent, Phoenix and rural Jackson County, including a diverse community of farm workers and seasonal workers.
McKenzie Valley Long Term Recovery Group (LTRG) | $149,600.00. Will serve survivors of the Holiday Farm Wildfire and Straight-Line Wind Event of September 2020 who do not have adequate support from FEMA, insurance, and other assets to restore safe, secure and sanitary living conditions in the McKenzie Valley.
“Oregon communities were not prepared for the devastation that those high winds and fires caused. Too many people didn’t have warning. They escaped with the clothes on their backs,” said Melissa Freeman, Director of Strategic Projects, Oregon Community Foundation. “Communities came together, seeking safety, cleared the debris and started focusing on how to rebuild better.”
Oregon Community Foundation received more than 100 applications for funding, requesting over $16 million in support. The 2020 Community Rebuilding Fund partners recruited an advisory team of 11 people who survived the fires with diverse backgrounds to determine how funds would be awarded. OCF expects to deploy all recovery, rebuilding and resiliency grant awards by November 2021. `
With the 2021 fire season already well underway, nonprofit and philanthropic organizations throughout Oregon, including Oregon Community Foundation, Meyer Memorial Trust, The Ford Family Foundation and American Red Cross are convening and planning for what lies ahead. Each organization is planning to have their own resources ready for immediate response to natural disasters and are discussing the criteria and context for determining when it makes sense to pool resources.
About the 2020 Community Rebuilding Fund
The 2020 Community Rebuilding Fund launched in response to Oregon’s devastating 2020 wildfire season which forever changed many of Oregon’s vibrant rural communities. Recognizing equitable, inclusive and resiliency-based rebuilding is essential, the 2020 Community Rebuilding Fund centers the needs of Oregon’s vulnerable residents most impacted – including Latino/a/x, Tribal and rural community members. The Fund supports community-led rebuilding that engages residents in shaping the future of the diverse and dynamic places they call home. The 2020 Community Rebuilding Fund is led by Oregon Community Foundation, in partnership with Meyer Memorial Trust, The Ford Family Foundation and American Red Cross and in addition to each partner, is primarily funded through individual, corporate and foundation support. To learn more, please visit: Community Rebuilding Fund.
About Oregon Community Foundation
Oregon Community Foundation puts donated money to work in Oregon – more than $100 million in grants and scholarships annually. Since 1973, OCF grantmaking, research, advocacy and community-advised solutions have helped individuals, families, businesses, and organizations create charitable funds to improve lives for all Oregonians. Impactful giving–time, talent, and resources from many generous Oregonians–creates measurable change. Throughout 2020, OCF responded quickly and urgently - distributing a record-setting $220 million in charitable dollars to more than 3,000 nonprofits throughout Oregon working to address urgent needs, stabilize communities and prepare for long-term recovery in Oregon. OCF donors responded to the magnitude of need, as reflected in a 44% increase in donor advised fund grantmaking from the previous year. For more information, please visit: oregoncf.org.
About Meyer Memorial Trust
Meyer Memorial Trust, established in 1982, is among the largest private foundations in Oregon, with current assets of roughly $1.1 billion. Today, Meyer focuses on work in Oregon, in four areas Oregonians have identified as crucial to making the state better for all of its residents: housing, education, the environment and building community. Learn more at www.mmt.org.
About The Ford Family Foundation
The Ford Family Foundation was established in 1957 by Kenneth W. and Hallie E. Ford. Its mission is “successful citizens and vital rural communities” in Oregon and Siskiyou County, California. The Foundation is located in Roseburg, Oregon, with a Scholarship office in Eugene. To learn more, please visit: www.tfff.org.
About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, military members and their families. The American Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to deliver its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or CruzRojaAmericana.org.
The 2020 Community Rebuilding Fund, a collaborative effort led by Oregon Community Foundation in partnership with Meyer Memorial Trust, The Ford Family Foundation and American Red Cross to support Oregon counties ravaged by 2020 Labor Day fires.