Santiam Hospital recently helped raise more than $1.7 million in relief funds for victims of the Santiam Canyon wildfires.
The fund, established by Santiam Hospital’s Service Integration Team (SIT), is intended to provide immediate and long-term relief to individuals and families affected by the wildfires that ravaged the Santiam Canyon on Sept. 8.
Two resource centers were established serving hot meals to refugees and connecting them with emergency supplies such as food, clothing, toiletries and fuel cards, plus pet and livestock feed. Funds were also used to assist families and individuals with short-term housing, rental move-in expenses and with immediate needs such as replacement prescriptions, eye glasses and dentures that were left behind as residents fled their homes. Since opening, the Gates Community Church location has been serving 400 meals each day and 100 households have “shopped” the store daily.
More than 200 volunteers have been mobilized to sort donated items, prepare meals, staff the resource centers and otherwise help those seeking assistance.
With emergency short-term relief efforts underway, Santiam Canyon Wildfire Relief Fund is also working with Salem Economic Development Corporation (SEDCOR) and local legislators to mobilize support for the next steps of cleanup and rebuilding.
HOW TO DONATE
Santiam Canyon Wildfire Relief Fund is a 501(c)3 organization. All donations are tax-deductible. Monetary donations can be made online at santiamcanyonwildfirerelieffund.org. In-kind donations of goods and services are also needed. For information, visit santiamcanyonwildfirerelieffund.org.
The distribution of funds is overseen by a collaborative group of community members already vested in the SIT network. Resources are directed where there is the greatest need and 100% of contributions will be distributed to Santiam Canyon residents until the fund is exhausted.