Generous Donation to Aid Rebuilding of Homes and Provide Local Childcare Services
|From left: Diana Dykstra (California Credit Union League), Brett Martinez (Redwood Credit Union), Richard Cooper (Mendo Lakes Credit Union) and Robin McCarthy (Fire Family Foundation).|
MIDDLETOWN, CA — Fire survivors who lost homes in the devastating Lake County fires and residents struggling with local childcare will benefit from a generous donation of $80,000 from Fire Family Foundation. A contribution of $60,000 was made in mid-February at the Middletown Fire Station to Hope City/Hope Crisis Response Network (HCRN), a disaster relief agency rebuilding several homes destroyed by the fires, and a donation of over $20,000 went to the Lake Family Resource Center (LFRC) for much-needed childcare in the community.
Fire Family Foundation (FFF) provides assistance to individuals and families affected by fire-related disasters throughout California and is the charitable hand of Firefighters First Credit Union. FFF worked with both Redwood Credit Union (RCU) and Mendo Lake Credit Union (MLCU) along with the California Credit Union League (CCUL) to identify the greatest needs of the fire survivors and provide the funding. Foundation Executive Director Robin McCarthy along with credit union and league representatives presented the check to Hope City Chief Executive Officer Kevin Cox and Team Lake County Chair Shelly Mascari in mid February.
Hope City has identified several homeowners who lost their residences in the Valley Fire to be beneficiaries of the $60,000 gift, according to Cox. He noted Hope City matches the gift with volunteer labor, so the initial amount becomes a $120,000 donation. The selection of families for receipt of HCRN’s assistance is needs-based, with aid going to individuals who had little or no insurance and may have other extenuating circumstances.
“Our organization thanks Fire Family Foundation and the credit unions who have been so amazing in helping Lake County, and we thank the community for rallying to get families back into homes,” said Cox.
Another key service needing support is the Lake Family Resource Center (LFRC), which provides before and after school childcare in Lake County. “We are grateful for the focus on childcare needs for those impacted by the fire,” said Jennifer Dodd, LFRC’s Executive Director. “The grant will be used to help families with childcare services so residents can get back to work knowing their children are cared for,” Dodd added. She shared many fire survivors have had challenges with transportation, changed school schedules, and the disappearance of off-site daycares in the area. “It is wonderful the grant was provided to Lake Family Resource Center because it will help reduce the stress impacting the families with childcare needs,” Dodd shared.
Noting the “heartwarming” actions coming from outside Lake County to assist with recovery efforts, MLCU Chief Executive Officer Richard Cooper said, “MLCU is thankful for the donations from credit unions across the state and beyond. We appreciate the assistance of RCU and the California Credit Union League for their efforts in getting the word out about the tremendous need.”
RCU’s President & CEO Brett Martinez, who also participated in the Friday evening check presentation, shared, “It’s exciting to see how so many organizations and people coming together to support Lake County is helping the community move forward.”
Team Lake County Chair Shelly Mascari expressed her appreciation for the combined efforts of credit unions. “Team Lake County is so grateful for this contribution to the infrastructure of our community. With this support, Lake County will have the opportunity to recover and thrive in the future.”
Fire Family Foundation Executive Director Robin McCarthy explained, “These fires shattered communities and families. Our foundation answers the need when tragedy strikes. Our commitment to firefighters and fire survivors like this, enables us to offer a helping hand in times of grief. We hope our $80,000 donation will provide a better future for this community.”
Diana Dykstra, President/CEO of the California Credit Union League, said. “I’m so proud of the credit union community for coming together to raise these funds to support families and individuals who endured losses in these devastating fires. Our partnership with Fire Family Foundation amplified the call to action nationally.”
Donations are still being accepted via the Lake County Wildfire Relief Fund through Mendo Lake Credit Union or North Coast Opportunities (NCO), a local nonprofit. For more information, visit mlcu.org or ncoinc.org.
ABOUT FIRE FAMILY FOUNDATION As the charitable hand of Firefighters First Credit Union, Fire Family Foundation responds when tragedy strikes, offering compassion and financial assistance to firefighters and fire survivors in need. In 2015, the Foundation provided more than $175,000 in immediate assistance to firefighters and their families, fire survivors, fire departments and charities. Support is widespread throughout the State of California; this year attention is given to Northern Californian communities and fire personnel who experienced a devastating fire season. The Foundation believes that those in need can experience comfort, healing, and support from their “Fire Family.” www.FireFamilyFoundation.org