How we spent our 3rd grant funds
The Throwing Starfish Foundation was lucky enough to receive another grant from North Valley Community Foundation to continue our work directly assisting victims of the Camp Fire. Our goal is to always try to find tangible ways to assist the survivors we work with. Below is a breakdown of how our $20,000 NVCF Grant was distributed. We have excluded the names of the survivors we helped, for their privacy. Please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
$252.61 for work clothes / $500 for rent assistance
Wendy, her husband, and their three children lost their home in the fire. She was an OB tech in the maternity ward at Feather River Hospital for 26 years. She is starting her new job and needed scrubs and shoes for work. We bought those for her and also provided $500 to help offset the cost of rent.
$777.15 in Amazon Wishlist purchases
Staci, her husband, and their three kids had been living in her husband’s childhood home in Paradise before the fire. They worked full time, owning a janitorial/cleaning business. They lost everything to the fire, as well as about 3/4 of their income. They are living in a trailer that was donated to them and are on a friend’s property in Durham. We purchased clothes, household items, and grocery gift cards from from their Amazon Wishlist.
$7,500.00 in Home Depot Gift Cards to Contractors
David, Eric, and Darren are all contractors from the Camp Fire area. They all lost their homes and all of their tools. We sent $7500 in Home Depot Gift Cards to these men ($3,000 to David, $2,000 to Eric, and $2500 to Darren) so that they can start rebuilding their tool inventory and also start taking on more jobs. We really like providing tools to contractors because it is the ultimate hand up. These guys are workers and they want to keep working to provide for their families and start to rebuild their lives. They are all so grateful to have the funds to get back to work.
$1750 in Rent Assistance
Susie and her son found a place to stay in Oroville after the fires, but it had a ton of issues including bugs and mold. They finally found a more suitable, safe house, but needed a little help with the move-in costs. We sent $1750 to Susie’s new landlord, to offset the cost of Susie’s first two month’s rent. She is very excited to get into the new place and finally feel settled.
$1024.29 in Amazon Wishlist Items
Sheree and her family were homeless for a long while after the fires. They just recently moved into a new place. We purchased several items from their Amazon Wishlist to help get them set up in their new place
$446.17 in Amazon Wishlist Items
Jessica and her family have recently gotten into a long term rental. But with no insurance money and no help from FEMA it’s taking awhile to make it feel like home. We helped them with a few items from their Amazon Wishlist.
$349.34 in Amazon Wishlist Items & $1400 for Water Storage
Before the fire, Dave was a refrigerator repairman at a small business. Since December, when Paradise was reopened to survivors, he has lived mostly alone on the burnt property, surrounded for miles by mostly vacant land in a leaky, dilapidated trailer. He also has had no access to showers/laundry (toxic water in the Paradise area) and is 20+ mins from Chico, with no income whatsoever to pay for the gas he would need to go back and forth or basic needs like emptying the holding tank on his trailer so that he can use its restroom (he does have food stamps, which has been helpful). We worked with a couple helpers to get Dave some Amazon Wishlist Items as well as a 2500 gallon water tank up to his property. This will give him clean water to drink and also allow him to bathe, which was a big hindrance to him finding work.
$185.78 in Amazon Wishlist items
Terra had second and third-degree burns on over 50% of her body as a result of the fires. She was in a medically induced coma for 2 months, at one point only a 20% chance of survival. She is finally heading home and we purchased some items from her Wishlist to help her settle in.
$1,500 in Rent Assistance
Norma and her family lost their rental in Paradise, after just having settled in and fallen in love with the safety and security their new community provided.
The family have relocated down to Southern California and have just secured new jobs. Their rent is significantly higher than it was in Paradise (over $2,000) so we sent $1, 500 in rent assistance to help this family settle into their new lives.
$1,000 in Safeway Gift Cards
Jocelyn Cronin continues to reach folks who are living a little off the grid. She was made aware of a group of 10 RV’s residing in Los Molinos. They are isolated and haven’t accessed very many services. Jocelyn took up propane and donations for the families there. We sent 10 $100 Safeway gift cards that could be used for either food or gas, both of which are very much needed.
$600 in Propane credit
Jocelyn Cronin has been running Campaign Propane, getting propane to survivors in different areas. She has been delivering propane to RV’s and we’ve assisted with that effort previously. But she often gets requests that she can’t fulfill because she is not in the Butte area. We have set up a private account at a gas station where Jocelyn can refer survivors (after they are vetted and given a secret pin number) to fill up their tanks. It’s a good way to fulfill immediate needs when Jocelyn isn’t in the area. This credit should fill between 40-50 tanks of propane for survivors.
$850 in Rental Assistance
Michelle and her husband were staying in a trailer on a property in Concow after the fires. They had the opportunity to rent the main house on the property - but needed a litte help with their move-in costs. We sent $850 to their landlord to cover their first month’s rent.
$840.24 in Rental Assistance
Karen and her husband have made the difficult decision to move out of the area to New Mexico following the fires. They each have health issues (Dave just had heart surgery) and they need to get into a more stable environment. They needed some assistance with relocation, so we paid for their first month’s rent at their new RV Park in New Mexico.
$350 in Rental Assistance
Renee has found a new apartment in Chico. However, she was in jeopardy of losing it if she didn’t pay her $350 balance this month. She has FEMA assistance coming in the following months to help offset her costs, so she just needed a little help this month making rent. We sent $350 to her landlord.
$800 in Yard Maintenance, Mower, and Washer/Dryer
Denise and her 70 year old mother have found a new Section 8 rental near Modesto. Unfortunately, they need to maintain the yard as part of their rental agreement. The yard was getting overgrown because they didn’t have a mower or lawn service and they were at risk of losing their rental. We arranged for their initial yard maintenance and were going to pay for 6 months of service. However, after doing some research Denise found a mower and a washer and dryer that she could purchase for the same price as 6 months of yard service, so we agreed to giving her the money to purchase those items and allow her to settle into her new home.