For 17 days in the fall of 2018, a devastating fire ravaged Butte County, Northern California. The Camp Fire burned over 150,000 acres and became the most deadly and destructive fire in California history. The Salvation Army was there from the beginning to help, and we are still there to this day.
The Salvation Army continues to work side by side with the recovering communities. We have transitioned from focusing on the provision of immediate needs, including temporary shelter, food, water and medical aid, to providing for long-term needs that will help survivors get back to a level of normalcy.
*Statistics for July 2018 through June 2019, including the value of initial response, initial financial assistance, Long Term Recovery Program, staff hours and supplies.
WHEN THE INITIAL CRISIS ENDS, AND THE TV CREWS LEAVE —
THE SALVATION ARMY DOESN’T
In fact, we believe that this is when important work begins. We are committed to being there for the survivors of the historic Camp Fire.
At the outbreak of the fire, The Salvation Army went to work right away, providing thousands of those affected with immediate needs such as food, water, blankets and clothing.
Since then, we have developed our Long Term Recovery Program. Our goal is to use donations from our generous supporters to provide direct, practical assistance that is vital for survivors who are rebuilding their lives. We plan to continue this assistance well into 2022.
STRAIGHTFORWARD ASSISTANCE FOR THOSE WHO NEED IT
We are always available to provide emotional and spiritual support to survivors. But we know that tangible support is vital to those who have lost so much, which is why we help with a variety of items, including:
- Deposit, Rent and Utilities
- Gift Cards for Local Retailers
- Transportation & Auto Repairs
- Work Tools & School Supplies
- Medical & Dental Costs
- Household Items/Furniture
- Disaster Construction
Helping Children and Their Families Move On
Many Camp Fire survivors are children. The Salvation Army has treated them with special care this summer by providing Summer Day Camp at our Community Center in Chico, and by sending dozens to Camp Del Oro in the Sierra Foothills for one week of care-free fun in a safe environment. Additionally, we have provided back to school supplies for these special kids. We partnered with Kohls and Great Clips to host a back to school event where more than 350 children were able to shop for school clothes and receive haircuts.
Kailey, one of the mothers at the event with her two children, expressed her gratitude for what her family was given. “These are the little things that a lot of people take for granted," she said.
“The Salvation Army has been amazing. They’ve opened their arms, my kids have gotten attached to them, and we start church with them this week — so it’s a very big, positive thing for us at this time.”
A New Life for Paul
Our Long Term Recovery Program helps people like Paul, who suffers from multiple disabilities. Gathering up his two cats, Paul escaped the flames of the Camp Fire before his apartment burned to the ground. Two months later, Paul was living in a trailer provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) when he contacted The Salvation Army.
“They asked me what my needs were,” he recalls. The Salvation Army was able to cover Paul’s immediate expenses, as well as a deposit and first month’s rent on a new apartment. Paul — and his cats — are grateful to again enjoy the comfort of a real home.
“My life is pretty much back to normal,” he smiles. “I’m so glad that there are people who entrust The Salvation Army to get help to the right people — and I’m just grateful that I was one of those people.”
For decades, The Salvation Army’s Emergency Disaster Services have been there for people around the world in every major disaster. We remain committed to helping Camp Fire survivors, restoring the lives of individuals and families, and helping them move forward with a renewed sense of hope and purpose.
Your Support Is Always Vital
During the Camp Fire, our donors were an amazing blessing. And we count on our supporters all year long.
Although we help thousands of survivors each year, The Salvation Army does much more than help people in times of disaster. We maintain Community Centers throughout our region, providing family services, food, shelter, rehabilitation, career development, youth programs, and much more. It’s because of generous donors like you that we are able to keep serving those who need us. If you would like to support The Salvation Army, make an online gift now. Thank you!