Trinity County Fire Relief Fund Reaches $100,000!
In response to the devastating Helena Fire that hit the community of Junction City last fall, Senator Mike McGuire, The Humboldt Area Foundation, the County of Trinity, the Trinity Journal, Trinity County Supervisor Judy Morris and Humboldt County Supervisor Rex Bohn came together to establish the Trinity County Fire Relief Fund. And now, the fund has reached a major milestone – $100,000, four times the Fund’s original goal of $25,000! The Humboldt Area Foundation is covering all administration and transaction costs.
“The Helena Fire has taken a tremendous toll on the hard working families of Junction City, but this tragic event also mobilized hundreds of neighbors all throughout the North Coast to help Trinity County in one of their greatest times of need,” Senator Mike McGuire said. “We are so incredibly grateful for the generosity and we are thrilled that checks to individual survivors will be hitting mailboxes in the coming week.”
“Our community was hit hard by the Helena Fire, but I am heartened to see the amazingly generous donations pour in to Trinity County to support people who really need it most,” Trinity County Supervisor Judy Morris said. “Working with Senator McGuire, the Trinity County Fire Relief Fund will have a positive impact on our neighbors here at home and I am grateful for everything the group has done to support Junction City families.”
The Trinity Fire Relief Fund committee was established by Senator McGuire in partnership with Trinity County Supervisor Judy Morris, Humboldt County Supervisor, Trinity Journal Publisher Wayne Agner, Letty Garza, Trinity County Health and Human Services Director and Patrick Cleary, Executive Director for the Humboldt Area Foundation.
The first allocation from the fund ($8,250) was made last fall, providing 33 students from Trinity Alps High School and Junction City Elementary School with $250 gift cards to replace school clothes and school supplies. Administrative costs associated with the gift cards were generously waived by Coast Central Credit Union.
During the holidays, the Fund provided $1,000 to the Community Holiday Dinner held at the North Fork Grange. Another $8,500 was allocated to provide each student who lost a home with an additional $250 gift card to help make the holidays brighter. Students also received a Christmas stocking with goodies. The committee also arranged for Junction City youth who lost homes to receive amazing gifts during the holidays that were all donated by Humboldt County Toys for Tots
Every family whose home was damaged or destroyed by the fires received a $150 gift card to Tops Market, to ensure their holiday meal needs were covered.
Next week, 42 families whose homes were damaged or destroyed and applied for temporary financial assistance will be receiving a total of $23,000 worth of disaster aid this month (temporary assistance levels are dependent on financial need). Prior to receiving the funds, residents had to complete an application.
Originally, the Fund anticipated being able to provide two months of financial assistance, but thanks to the incredible generosity of neighbors throughout the North Coast, the Fund will now be able to provide a third month of direct aid.
The Trinity Fire Relief Fund is truly unique – providing funding to survivors of a fire that was not a FEMA declared event (falling below the federal threshold used for federal assistance). This is why Senator McGuire – along with local leaders – launched this innovative effort: To assist Trinity County residents in their greatest time in need.