As our community confronts the devastation and disruption caused by the Carr Fire, United Way of Northern California is stepping up to play two important roles.
First: Our initial fundraising effort is to raise money for short-term, emergency cash grants to be distributed to residents who have suffered losses in the fire. The intent is to provide some cash for basic needs as people move to get back on their feet.
United Way is not yet able to determine the size of these grants, as it will depend on the amount we are able to raise and the ultimate scope of need. Experience in other situations suggests possible range of between $500 and $1,500 per household. We are establishing an application process that ensures responsibility and integrity, while still being as minimally burdensome as possible. Decisions on applications will be made by a panel including community members. We are aiming for an announcement with details within a few days and hope to begin distribution of funds as soon as possible.
Second: We operate 2-1-1 Shasta. In the last three days we've taken more than 700 calls and had 5,000 text contacts. This is far above our normal volume, of course, and our team is working around the clock to deliver the latest information regarding the fire. 2-1-1 is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We encourage you to utilize the service for non-emergency information, rather than call police or fire who are dealing with the emergency. Just dial 2-1-1, text your ZIP Code to 898-211, or search online at www.211shasta.org.
United Way has been here since 1953. We believe in Redding and in the resilience of the greater Shasta County community. We're not going anywhere. You can count on us to do our part to help keep this community strong. Contact me with any questions or concerns at 530-241-7521 or firstname.lastname@example.org.