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More Info on Southern California Wildfire Relief

October 30, 2007

Apologies for the lack of posts the last few days -- I've been Ohio helping out with a family emergency. I'll be posting regularly starting tomorrow and back in the office on Thursday. In the meantime, my colleague Janet Camarena in San Francisco asked me to post the following.

-- Press Release --

Victorville, CA -- High Desert residents wanting to aid the victims of the current fires in San Bernardino County are encouraged to contact the Victor Valley COAD at 760-242-5370. Items including prepackaged food and bottled water are currently needed. Donations of cash are also needed for the American Red Cross and Salvation Army who are the lead agencies working with the victims.

The COAD, spearheaded by Desert Communities United Way (DCUW), is a collaborative of local voluntary organizations (nonprofits, county agencies, schools, clubs, and ministries) that are active in all phases of disaster. According to Christine Briggs, DCUW Executive Director, "The mission of the COAD is to foster efficient, streamlined service delivery to people affected by disasters, while eliminating unnecessary duplication of effort, through cooperation in the four phases of disaster: preparation, response, recovery, and mitigation." This COAD includes organizations from the communities of Adelanto, Apple Valley, Baldy Mesa, El Mirage, Helendale, Hesperia, Lucerne Valley, Oak Hills, Oro Grande, Phelan, Pinon Hills, Summit Valley, Victorville, and Wrightwood.

Readers are cautioned to beware of other fundraising appeals related to the fire disaster. "I just came from a national conference of nonprofits and one of the topics was the proliferation of new nonprofits that spring up after disasters," stated Vici Nagel, CEO of High Desert Resource Network. "We want to warn local residents about this and we strongly encourage them to make any disaster related donations directly to the local chapters of the American Red Cross (760- 245-6511) and Salvation Army (760- 245-2545). In doing so donors can be sure that the money raised will stay in the community and will be distributed to those agencies playing key roles in the recovery efforts."

In addition to donations, volunteers are needed for a variety of positions. To join the "Wildfires 2007 Response Team" or for the most accurate and up-to-date information about volunteer needs readers are encouraged to visit www.handsoninlandempire.org. Officials are asking that people do not go directly to evacuation sites. Residents needing assistance related to the fire disaster can find help by calling 2-1-1 on their telephone toll-free, 24 hours a day. At 2-1-1 they can also find information about volunteer opportunities and needed donations throughout the County of San Bernardino.

For more information:

Chris Briggs, COAD Chair, 760-242-5370

Vici Nagel, COAD Vice Chair, 760-949-2930

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When sending donations to the Salvation it is always wise to specify what the donation is to be used for ie. "California Fire Disaster". The TSA has a habit that when they recieve what they consider excess funding and the donation is not specific will put away for another tragedy and not the disaster that prompted the donation in the first place

I received this the other day and am posting it for the benefit of those interested in making non-monetary contributions to help victims of the Southern California wildfires.

IFMA, IREM AND BOMA PARTNER TO HELP CALIFORNIA FIRE VICTIMS

HOUSTON — (Nov. 7, 2007) — The Orange County Chapter of the International Facility Management Association (IFMA) has partnered with the Orange County Chapter of the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) and the Orange County and Greater Los Angeles Chapters of the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) to accept non-monetary donations on behalf of the communities affected by the recent Southern California wildfires.

"We've been working diligently to establish relationships with other associations to expand our outreach and our resources," said Orange County Chapter of IFMA president Diane Coles. "We knew that collaboration was key, because together our efforts will have a far greater impact."

Currently being accepted are donations of non-perishable food items such as canned goods, pasta and bottled water; grocery gift certificates; gas cards; personal items such as shampoo, soap and diapers; and clothing.

All donations will be taken to local relief organizations such as the American Red Cross, Goodwill, Second Harvest Food Bank and the Orange County Rescue Mission. These organizations will distribute the items to fire victims throughout the Southern California area.

Those interested in helping the Southern California fire victims can send their non-monetary donations to:

BOMA IREM IFMA (So Cal Fire Relief)
1405 Warner Avenue
Tustin, CA, 92780
714-258-8330

To learn more about the Orange County Chapter of IFMA's disaster relief efforts, visit www.ifmaoc.org.

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