San Luis Obispo Daybreak

   California, USA

How To Help the Thomas Fire Victims

Posted on Dec 08, 2017
The following is an email from District Governor John Weiss which went out to every active and honorary member of District 5240. See the downloadable PDF documents to the right under "Home Page Download Files" if you wish to make a donation. 
 
First and foremost, our hearts go out to all who have suffered loss: health, well being, or property. We know of several Rotarians who have lost their home and all of its contents. We have also heard of an instance where every home on their block lost their home save theirs – and that is also a very tough and stressful situation.
 
I am suggesting the following three options:
  1. We work to pair Rotarians who have been displaced with Rotarians who have a spare bedroom or two.
  2. We offer a funding mechanism as outlined below that will provide financial relief “Rotary Relief Fund”
  3. For those more comfortable, you can make a donation to our District Charitable Foundation at our district website
I’ve heard from one of my classmates who has already experienced tremendous loss from fires in Northern California. In that district (5130) the Assistant Governors have coordinated Rotarians who have lost their homes or who have been evacuated with Rotarians who have spare bedrooms. So I am asking our Region 2 and 3 Executive Assistant Governors Scott Farenkoff and David Velarde to lead that effort with their respective Assistant Governors.
 
With thousands of people affected by the tragic wildfires raging in Southern California, it has never been more important for us to stand up as leaders in service to the community. For that reason, our District leadership and I have partnered with first responders and the Ventura County Community Foundation (VCCF) to establish a fund to help meet the immediate needs of hundreds of families and individuals who face hardship due to these devastating fires.
 
We have launched the Rotary Relief Fund and need your support. Through a check, online payment or gift of stock, your contribution is certain to have a positive impact on the most urgent needs of fire victims. As District Governor, I am working closely with first responders, relief agencies including the Red Cross and the VCCF to ensure the high-impact and efficient distribution of our funds. Also to maximize the impact of your gift, the VCCF is waiving all cost for administering the funds.
 
Why the Thomas Fire in Ventura County? As of noon Wednesday, Dec. 6th, this fire has consumed 55,000 (+5,000 over previous day) acres and is zero percent contained and conditions are predicted to be worse over the next two days.  The fire is being managed by a Type 1 Incident Management Team with 1,776 (+676 from previous day) personnel assigned.  There are 12,000 (+8,000 from previous day) homes threatened by this fire and hundreds of structures already damaged/destroyed including hundreds of homes.  Evacuations have been ordered for more than 28,000 residents and evacuation centers are filled.  
 
 Please give now. There are three ways to contribute, read more online at www.vccf.org:
 
1. Make an online donation via credit card. Be sure to enter fund name as Rotary Relief Fund.
 
2. Send a check payable to Ventura County Community Foundation and mail to VCCF,  4001 Mission Oaks Blvd, Suite A, Camarillo, CA 93012. Write “Rotary Relief Fund” in the memo line.
 
3. Transfer securities or cash by wire. VCCF can accept gifts of publicly traded securities and cash by wire. For your convenience, VCCF has prepared one-page instruction letters (attached) that you can send to your bank or investment advisory firm, which will give your financial advisor all the information he or she needs to execute a wire transfer of securities or cash.  Please be sure to name “Ventura County Community Foundation Rotary Relief Fund.” Ventura County Community Foundation is a 501(c)3 public charity, Federal Tax ID number: 77-0165029.
 
Please feel free to reach out to me or Vanessa Bechtel, President & CEO at the Ventura County Community Foundation at (805) 330-6676 or vbechtel@vccf.org.
 
Never has “Service Above Self” been more important to so many, so close to home. Thank you for your support.
 
Sincerely,
John Weiss
2017-2018 District Governor