VENTURA, Calif. and SANTA BARBARA, Calif., Dec. 19, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The massive Thomas Fire, now the 3th largest in California history, continues to burn in both Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. To date, the fire has destroyed more than 1,000 structures and is threatening thousands more. Over 100,000 residents have had to evacuate their homes in both counties. Over 270,000 acres have burned with current containment at 50 percent.
In response to an outpouring of support, United Way of Santa Barbara County and United Way of Ventura County have established a joint fund to directly support those individuals and families affected by the fire in both counties—the United Way Thomas Fire Fund. Major donations have come in from local and national businesses, foundations, and individuals. To date, over $2.1 million has been raised.
How to give:
- Online at www.unitedwaythomasfirefund.org
- By texting UWVC to 41444
- By phone or mail: call (805) 485-6288 or checks may be sent to the United Way office at 702 County Square Drive, Suite 100, Ventura, CA 93003. Please write "Thomas Fire Fund" in the memo.
One-hundred percent of the donations will support those in communities affected by the wildfires.
Local community partners determined that the United Way organizations, in both counties, are uniquely positioned and qualified to manage the disaster fund, accept contributions, make distributions, promote the fund and provide a report to the community on how the funds were used.
"The financial and emotional costs of the loss of homes and businesses in Ventura County, including Ojai, is immense and difficult to comprehend," said Eric Harrison, CEO, United Way of Ventura County. "We will do all we can to ensure a solid path to recovery for our residents."
"While Santa Barbara County is fortunate in that it has not yet lost a vast number of structures, the level of stress and financial toll for thousands of evacuees will be great and includes missed work for residents, relocation costs, food, clothing property damage, childcare and healthcare," said Steve Ortiz, President & CEO, United Way of Santa Barbara County.
"By combining our resources, we believe that we can reach more people and groups/organizations, including those outside our region, who are looking for ways to support those affected," said Harrison and Ortiz in a joint statement.
SOURCE United Way Thomas Fire Fund