One of the Community Foundation’s roles over the past two years has been to steward the charitable dollars on behalf of our survivors. We took the helm in leading our local recovery group, Mendocino-ROC, to work collaboratively with community partners to support the recovery, rebuilding, and resiliency efforts necessary to get survivors back home. Our day-to-day is often filled with the logistics of long-term recovery efforts: check requests, emails, spreadsheets and lists tracking the comings and goings of every dollar. So it was wonderful to step away from the logistics to visit with survivors over dinner, listen to their stories and songs, and view their art in the Mendocino College Gallery.

Mendocino-ROC has done an incredible amount of work in the past two years. In the immediate aftermath, we made every effort to contact each of the 406 households that lost their homes. We continued to listen and respond, allowing the needs of fire survivors to guide our decision-making process, building the infrastructure we needed along the way. Piece by piece we identified a need, created a grant program, and mailed out checks to buy lumber and beds, power poles and therapy sessions. By leveraging funding with our Mendocino-ROC partners, we have distributed over $4 million to-date. These grants include: