(Photo by Deep Rajwar of Pexels)
The Oregon Community Foundation has announced new donations to the 2020 Community Rebuilding Fund, a pooled philanthropic fund dedicated to helping Oregon communities recover from the state’s worst fire season on record. Facebook is one of the companies that has joined with OCF and other foundations, companies and thousands of individual donors to help provide relief to those in need, and the fund is now at $5 million.
Announced by Oregon Governor Kate Brown on September 14, commitments to the 2020 Community Rebuilding Fund grew to $5 million in just two weeks thanks to support from thousands of individual donors, companies like the Beaverton, Oregon-based Nike Foundation and businesses with strong connections to the Pacific Northwest.
When Gov. Brown asked The Ford Family Foundation, Meyer Memorial Trust and Oregon Community Foundation to collaboratively manage the 2020 Community Rebuilding Fund, they responded by providing $3 million in seed funding. The goal: to gather resources and begin planning for what comes next after the extraordinary devastation brought by wildfires across a state already reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic and consequences of racial injustice.
The 2020 Community Rebuilding Fund will focus on supporting communities and Oregonians hit hard by the devastating wildfires over the long-term, allowing national and local relief organizations to continue addressing people’s urgent and immediate needs.
“If there’s one thing we can always count on in a crisis, it’s the generosity of Oregonians,” said Governor Brown. “The outpouring of donations and support in recent days, large and small, has been truly inspiring. I’d like to thank the Oregon Community Foundation, Meyer Memorial Trust, The Ford Family Foundation and their partners for leading this effort to help Oregon families impacted by these devastating wildfires.”
The partnership of these three foundations will magnify donor impact and ensure that each organization’s unique expertise is part of the effort.
- The Ford Family Foundation, with roots in Southern Oregon, has a deep understanding of rural Oregonians and has worked closely with many of the towns and communities.
- Meyer Memorial Trust focuses on ensuring the most vulnerable Oregonians flourish, and is committed to making sure that particularly hard hit Latinx, Tribal and timber communities are centered in rebuilding efforts.
- Oregon Community Foundation will provide infrastructure for the fund and utilize its experience mobilizing and deploying statewide resources to communities where they are needed most, and activate experience bringing together rural and urban communities, diverse community leaders and donors.
The three foundations are collaboratively managing the pooled fund to address the state’s mid- to long-term needs to rebuild systems of support for communities, including housing, health care, education and employment. The state’s vulnerable residents — Latinx, Tribal and rural communities — have been disproportionately impacted by the wildfire and will be a core focus of 2020 Community Rebuilding Fund grants.
“A core part of Meyer’s mission for a flourishing and equitable Oregon calls us to join with other Oregonians in moments of severe crisis to support the resiliency of communities facing hardships,” said Michelle J. DePass, president and CEO of Meyer Memorial Trust. “Within these wildfires, the underlying injustices caused by systemic racism and economic inequality are intersecting, exacerbating historic disparities with new risk, trauma and harm.”
The Nike Foundation is among several private foundations and businesses with strong ties and operations in Oregon, committing funds to ensure that Oregon’s recovery leaves no community or Oregonian behind.
“Now is the time to come together to support our fellow Oregonians and the communities that have been impacted across our treasured state,” said Jorge Casimiro, President of the Nike Foundation. “Nike’s roots in Oregon run deep, and we’re proud to join other Oregon foundations, companies and individuals to support the 2020 Community Rebuilding Fund with a $750,000 donation from the Nike Foundation.”
Foundation leaders expect the fund to continue to grow over the coming months as businesses and individuals recognize the importance of supporting diverse communities across Oregon over the long-term and invest in the 2020 Community Rebuilding Fund.
“This fund says a lot about the strength of our collective commitment to the future of Oregon,” said Anne Kubisch, president of The Ford Family Foundation. “For years The Ford Family Foundation has built long term relationships with partners in communities severely affected by the wildfires. We’ll keep listening to rural residents, leaders and organizations to learn how we can best support them through local efforts. We’re here for the long haul.”
“In one of Oregon’s most difficult moments, Oregonians continue to step up,” said Max Williams, president and CEO of Oregon Community Foundation. “We have a long road ahead, but we are heartened by the willingness of diverse organizations and our partners, who are pulling together collaboratively to multiply our impact. Together, we’ll support each other through this time of crisis and suffering, and together will rebuild Oregon.”
Facebook has been a part of the Oregon community since 2010, when they broke ground on their data center in Prineville, and the company is committed to helping the communities where they live and work. “Oregon has been our home since 2010, when we broke ground on our Prineville Data Center, and our heart goes out to all those who have been affected by the devastating wildfires across the state. We’re proud to partner with the Oregon Community Foundation and other foundations, companies and thousands of individual donors to help provide relief to those in need through the 2020 Community Rebuilding Fund. Our thanks also goes to Fortis Construction for joining us in support of the fund,” said William Marks, community development regional manager of Facebook.