When our state was impacted by wildfires in September of 2020, we established the OCCU Foundation (OCCUF) Fire Relief Fund. The foundation is still providing grants to projects and nonprofit organizations that are responding to and supporting the mid- and long-term needs of those affected by the destructive fires.
Our funding's impact is in full effect with our grantees. Marion Polk Food Share recently shared with us how OCCU Foundation's funding is serving the Santiam Canyon community.
Marion Polk Food Share funding update
Marion Polk Food Share has been working closely with the Santiam Canyon food pantries to identify the recovery needs of the wildfire survivors. One of the Canyon food pantries, Stayton Community Food Bank, partnered with the Santiam Service Integration Team (SIT team) to provide food support for over 1,000 families as they return to the Canyon.
With support from the OCCUF grant, Stayton Community Food Bank recently installed a two-door commercial freezer, which has significantly increased their capacity for food distribution. Now, they have plenty of space to serve families impacted by the fires. In addition, our grant is covering costs to provide food boxes to families moving into their new permanent homes. The food boxes include a start-up supply of food staples as well as fresh and frozen foods to help families get settled and back on their feet.
Marion Polk Food Share's Director of Donor Relations, Corina Hawkins says, "While recovery will continue to take months, if not years, the support of OCCU Foundation is providing hope and relief to Santiam Canyon wildfire survivors. Many of these families lost everything in the fires. The food support they are receiving is truly a lifeline for them as they rebuild their lives."
Marion Polk Food Share continues to work with other Santiam Canyon food pantries to identify their specific recovery needs. They plan to direct the remaining OCCUF grant funds to assist the food pantries in their service of the Canyon.
Making an impact together
OCCUF has granted $144,000 to 17 organizations across Oregon through the Fire Relief Fund. Here's the complete list:
Cascade Relief Team – to support statewide post-fire recovery assistance and property cleanup. Providing on-site debris removal and resource sharing.
DevNW – increasing outreach and communications to fire survivors about the resources and assistance available, as well as supporting individuals with navigating FEMA applications. This is supporting fire survivors across the state of Oregon.
Homes for Good – to purchase supplies for a family need closet for fire impacted families.
LoveFirst – supporting Oregon fire victims and evacuees with critical needs and direct emergency assistance. LoveFirst is headquartered in Lane County and is serving statewide.
Marion Polk Food Share – providing meals for fire survivors of the Beachie Creek Fire and to replaced refrigerators for multiple food pantries after the fires destroyed their equipment.
McKenzie Community Development Corporation – to purchase supplies for the organization, and to support the 2020 McKenzie Holiday Lights event.
McKenzie Masters Foundation - to make the McKenzie River navigable through the identification and clearing of hazards in the river as well as the boat ramps.
Northwest Rebuild Project – helping fire-devastated Oregon homeowners rebuild through free design and construction documents and rebuilding assistance.
O’Brien Memorial Library – supplying furniture and office equipment for the interim library location after their library was burned down after the Holiday Farm Fires.
Oregon Parks Forever – replanting 10,000 trees burned by this past summer's wildfires.
Project Hope Lane County – providing essential items, tools, food and resources to Lane County’s wildfire survivors.
Relief Nursery – covering the cost of food boxes, helping navigate emergency rental and utility assistance, mental health services, counseling and respite childcare for fire survivors and evacuees in Lane County.
Remake Talent – funding to fill resource and food baskets for fire victims and evacuees in Southern Oregon.
Santiam Canyon Wildfire Relief Fund – supporting fire victims and evacuees in the Santiam Canyon region with critical needs and case management.
Springfield Chamber of Commerce - to distribute funding to local businesses impacted by the wildfires in the McKenzie River area, expanding on the impact of their Business Wildfire Relief Fund.
Vida McKenzie Community Center - to help cover rebuilding cost off their new community center.
Volunteers in Medicine Clinic - providing gift vouchers to support basic supplies for families in Lane County who have lost or damaged homes due to the fires.
More than $1 million donated since OCCUF’s start
Since our start in 2018, OCCUF has granted more than $1 million to help build happier and healthier communities. Our goal is to give that much in 2021 alone.
Want to make a difference with us? Learn more about OCCUF and how you can partner with us here.