Paradise Survivors: A 6-Month Update

The California wildfires were devastating and affected the lives of thousands. It’s been six months since the fires started in Plumas National Forest and spread across 20,000 acres of land. Residents had to evacuate and were in a state of emergency. Besides all the emotional pain each resident had to go to they also lost their homes, more than 6,700 homes were burned and destroyed. This fire set the record for California’s most destructive fire. How are the survivors doing? It’s still a huge struggle.

Thousands of residents were displaced, homes burned down, and left with nothing. Many survivors remain in rentals until they figure out their next steps and options. Others are still in emergency housing and government trailers. Residents are waiting for insurance money, trying to rebuild, or looking for a new place to live. These things take lots of time, money and energy. There are also many residents living in homeless camps in the southern city limits of Santa Rosa.

The only option is to start over completely. Furniture, vehicles, precious memories are gone forever. Some homes can’t even be rebuilt because the damage is so bad. Living in a rental is not the same as home. Trying to buy a new home is expensive, paperwork and applications take time, and there is no guarantee they will get the home they want. Only a handful of residents have been able to rise from the ashes and start a new life moving forward.

There have been less than 100 building permits issued since the fires when thousands of buildings were burned down. They are struggling to find time, money, and workers to rebuild what was lost. More than 40% of the homes that burned were not insured either. Those who lived paycheck to paycheck had to move somewhere else that had cheap rent so they could get by. The average local-area rent price has gone up 30% since the fires making it less affordable to more people. Those who couldn’t find a new place or family to stay with ended up in temporary housing from FEMA. The biggest colony of survivors is in the Sonoma County Fairgrounds RV park where 100 new trailers were brought in and filled up completely. These trailers are part of the disaster recovery effort and provided 400 residents with housing up to 18 months.

There has been a resilient permit center opened separately for the fire survivors who are trying to rebuild their homes. Officials have lowered fees for this center with promises to issue building permits a week after application so survivors can start building a new life. In the fire-prone areas, it’s now required to have fire sprinklers installed.

It’s going to take time to rebuild what was lost and the mourning over the lives lost will forever continue. A majority of survivors are still fighting the battle and trying to figure out how to start over. If you can help in any way, please do. Survivors continue to need our support.

Great News! Car Donations Rising in 2019

We all like hearing good news, right? Well, here’s some good news for you… 2019 is seeing an increase in car donations. But why is this happening?

  • Is it because donating a car to a good cause feels good?
  • Is it because it’s a terrific tax write-off?
  • Is it because the economy is doing well and people are feeling more generous?
  • Maybe it’s because they know so many Paradise Camp Fire victims are in need?

Maybe it is a combination of all of these. Here is what one donor said about donating her vehicle:

“I’m gratified to learn that my donation actually resulted in a significant benefit to the nonprofit.”  -Anonymous Donor

According to Careasy.org, a non-profit that focuses on charitable car donations, the first quarter of 2019 is seeing more car donations than normal. We are hoping the influx of donations continues through Tax Season. Many families affected by the Paradise Camp Fire in California are still in need of donated cars.

If you’d like to donate your car to help someone recover from the Paradise fire or another valued non-profit, reach out to cars2ndchance@gmail.com to donate a car that runs and clunkers4charity@gmail.com to donate a vehicle that does not. Check out their respective websites https://cars2ndchance.org/ and https://clunkers4chari.wpengine.com/. The organization has received 30 cars for the Paradise survivors, but they need more, as you can well imagine.

Donation to the First Presbyterian Church of Concord

One of our 50/50 Community Partners, The First Presbyterian Church of Concord (FPCC) received a check for $596, thanks to a car donation by one of their members.

Clayton Worsdell, the President of the Rotary Club of Clayton Valley/Concord Sunrise, and a member of FPCC, presented the check to Pastor Toby Nelson, along with Financial Committee Chair David Stearns, and Mario from D&H Enterprises, the Concord auto repair shop that founded and supports Clunkers4Charity.

Donation to Concord Church

 

One of the Bay Area charitable organizations that FPCC helps provide support is the Bay Area Rescue Mission. They provide many services, like providing a hot meal for the homeless and poor, providing drug and alcohol rehabilitation for men, and transitional housing for families and women with children. They reach out to their community in a variety of ways and have recently developed an extensive ministry with children who live in the area.

Read more about the First Presbyterian Church of Concord (FPCC) on our blog. >

 

Diablo View Rotary New 50/50 Partner

We’re happy to welcome Diablo View Rotary to the Clunkers4Charity family!

The Diablo View Rotary Club joins 17 additional partners and designated recipients. Partners apply and if granted, receive a portion of donated proceeds when donors select that organization on our Donation page.

While most rotary clubs attentions are focused internationally, Diablo Valley Rotary club is dedicated to helping the local community. They organize outings within the community to clean beaches, sort food at local food banks, serve meals to those in need, package reading materials for local tutors to use in the area’s schools, and anything else that their members can do to make the community better.

Contact them using the Diablo View Rotary Club contact form.

Meeting Time & Location Information
Tuesdays at 5:30pm – 6:30pm
Buon Vino
1545 Locust St
Walnut Creek, CA 94598 map it

Clunkers4Charity generates over $50,000 dollars each year from vehicle donations that are given directly to Rotary. For the person making a vehicle donation, the program is simple and straightforward and the process is easy. A tax deduction is usually an added bonus for vehicles donated to the program.

Walnut Creek Sunrise Rotary New 50/50 Partner

We’re pleased to welcome the Walnut Creek Sunrise Rotary to the Clunkers4Charity family.
The Walnut Creek Sunrise Rotary joins 17 additional partners and designated recipients. Partners apply and if granted, receive a portion of donated proceeds when donors select that organization on our Donation page.

Walnut Creek Sunrise Rotary are a group of business professionals, government leaders and humanitarians who meet each week on Tuesday mornings at Scott’s in Walnut Creek to enjoy informative and interesting programs, camaraderie, networking opportunities and a chance to serve larger causes by working together.

Contact them using the Walnut Creek Sunrise Rotary online contact form.

Meeting Time & Location Information
Tuesday at 7:00 AM
Scott’s Seafood Bar & Grill
1333 N. California Blvd
Walnut Creek, CA 94596  map it
Moving to Wednesday effective June 3

Clunkers4Charity generates over $50,000 dollars each year from vehicle donations that are given directly to Rotary. For the person making a vehicle donation, the program is simple and straightforward and the process is easy. A tax deduction is usually an added bonus for vehicles donated to the program.

Rotary Club of Benicia Foundation – Newest 50/50 Partner

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We’re pleased to welcome the Rotary Club of Benicia Foundation to the Clunkers4Charity family. The Rotary Club of Benicia Foundation joins 15 additional partners and designated recipients. Partners apply and if granted, receive a portion of donated proceeds when donors select that organization on our Donation page.

The Rotary Club of Benicia was chartered on December 9, 1966.

Below is a partial list of the many community and international projects the Rotary Club of Benicia has been, and continues to be involved in. For a complete list go to the following page on their website.

  • Annual street cleanup
  • Benches on First Street
  • City of Benicia 9th Street Park
  • Dictionaries for all third graders each year
  • Flag holders and flags for First Street
  • Garbage truck for Tula, Mexico

The Rotary Club of Benicia meets every Tuesday at 12:15pm at the Benicia Yacht Club, 400 East Second Street, Benicia, CA 94510. For more information, visit their website, send an email to BeniciaRotary@OneBox.com or call 707-743-0143.

Clunkers4Charity generates over $50,000 dollars each year from vehicle donations that are given directly to Rotary. For the person making a vehicle donation, the program is simple and straightforward and the process is easy. A tax deduction is usually an added bonus for vehicles donated to the program.