In the aftermath of the most devastating wildfire season in recent memory, four Oregon business associations stepped up to raise needed funds to provide community-level support for displaced families and devastated businesses.
To date, the Oregon Business Wildfire Relief Fund – a joint effort of Oregon Business & industry (OBI), the Oregon State Chamber of Commerce (OSCC), the Oregon Business Council and the Oregon Bankers Association – has raised more than $180,000 from individuals, companies and associations in locations throughout Oregon – and the entire United States.
“Oregon businesses look out for each other and for our communities,” said OBI President and CEO Sandra McDonough. “The wildfires last fall displaced families and destroyed livelihoods in several locations around Oregon. I am so thankful to individuals who stepped up to help us support the on-the-ground, community-based organizations that are working day in and day out to assist these communities as they recover.”
From the Santiam Canyon to the Rogue Valley, and the Oregon Coast to Central Oregon, the Oregon Business Wildfire Relief Fund has established innovative partnerships with local chambers of commerce to aid wildfire victims in the seven months since the blazes began last September.
“I am very proud that we reached out to local chambers of commerce to identify where our funds could have the most impact,” said Gioia Goodrum, president and CEO of the McMinnville Area Chamber of Commerce and OSCC chair. “By working with people who lived in the communities, we could be assured that the money we raised for this effort would be entirely spent where the need was greatest.”
About $134,000 has gone out the door to organizations, mostly nonprofits, that applied for support. The remaining dollars will be spent in the same way. The OBI Education and Research Foundation, which is managing the program, has pledged that 100% of the dollars raised will go to the communities needing relief.
Click here to see a list of organizations that received support from the Oregon Business Wildfire Relief Fund. If you are interested in learning more about the grant program, or applying to receive assistance, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nathaniel Brown, Oregon Business & Industry communications director