The Rotary District 5130 Fire Relief Fund presented a check for $50,000 to the Committee on the Shelterless (COTS) for their efforts to assist the homeless, including those affected by the firestorm of 2017. Rotary District Governor Barb Spangler made the presentation to COTS CEO Chuck Fernandez.
Rotary earmarked more than $350,000 in contributions to be distributed in seven $50,000 community grants to non-profits who were directly impacted by the wildfires. Initial recipients of Rotary Fire Relief Fund Grants include COTS, Bouverie Preserve in Glen Ellen and the Boys & Girls Club of Sonoma Valley.
Rotary District 5130 Fire Relief Fund was established after the devastating October 2017 wildfires to assist individuals impacted by the fires. Donations received from community members and Rotarians from throughout the United States and other countries funded this program.
More than $600,000 in donations were received and allocated toward community needs. Wildfire survivors applied for general assistance grants for up to $2,500. A cadre of 60 Rotarians volunteered to vet the applications and interviewed applicants. By April 2018, approximately $250,000 was given to applicants demonstrating immediate and critical unmet needs.
A committee of four Rotarians, including current and past club presidents from Petaluma, Sonoma Valley, Santa Rosa, and Sebastopol formed to oversee disbursements of the remaining funds to non-profit organizations whose focus centered on any of four areas, including homelessness, youth service, mental health, and reforestation.
There are 47 Rotary Clubs that comprise Rotary District 5130 with more than 2400 members. The service organization has a long history in the North Bay for supporting both local community and international projects to promote a lasting change across the globe. For more information, please visit www.rotary5130.org.