$500 going to each family whose home was destroyed in wildfires

The following is an excerpt from an article posted in the Appealdemocrat.com  in Feb 2018:  Appealdemocrat.com: “$500 going to each family whose home was destroyed in wildfires “

“Yuba County families whose homes were destroyed in October’s foothills wildfires will each receive $500 in assistance from a national humanitarian organization which specializes in disaster relief and recovery.

Islamic Relief USA, based in Alexandria, Va., will be donating $75,500 to 151 area families, a decision in part based on figures that put Yuba County near the top of the state’s poverty rates.

Minhaj Hassan, spokesperson for Islamic Relief USA, said the board decided Wednesday to provide cash cards to be distributed in two to three weeks to families identified through the American Red Cross and Yuba County Emergency Services.

“It may seem like a small amount, but we know every bit helps,” Hassan said. “Obviously, this is a very tough period for residents living in Yuba County and we want to do whatever we can to alleviate the pain and suffering associated with rebuilding. We always wish we could give more but we’re trying to provide support wherever we can.”

Yuba County Supervisor Randy Fletcher, who represents many families affected by the blazes, said the recovery phase for many will take a year or two and any amount of support is helpful.

“I think it is great that any organization wants to help our fire victims,” Fletcher said. “This is not enough to rebuild a house but it helps in the effort to get someone’s life back to some normalcy.”

Fletcher points to the efforts like Islamic Relief USA, a recent $250,000 direct assistance from Rural County Representatives of California, and local groups for understanding how long and expensive rebuilding often takes.

Russ Brown, public information officer with Yuba County, said many residents remain displaced and have been staying in hotels or with friends and family.

Brown said many organizations understand there are continuous needs for families who inch back into everyday life, which range from replacing lost items, children returning to school or parents getting back to work.

“Right from the outset, individuals and organizations from beyond our county borders have stepped up to help those affected by the fire,” Brown said. “Some four months after the fires and organizations are still stepping up to help communities up and down California still suffering is very much appreciated.”

Islamic Relief USA, which began in 1993, dispatched members of its disaster response team to Yuba, Sonoma and Napa counties in early October and kept a presence in the state as wildfires and mudslides impacted Southern California soon after.

Hassan said Yuba County was the sole recipient of direct cash assistance in California but that the organization routinely provides financial support to afflicted areas.

Hassan said the organization’s most recent efforts included giving $10,000 for funeral costs to Las Vegas shooting victim’s families and $50,000 to those affected by Hurricane Harvey in Texas. ‘We try our best to live by our motto,” Hassan said. “No matter what race, creed, or religion, we try to help anyone who is in need.’ ”

Read the full post on Appealdemocrat.com

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