What is Share the Plate? During each Sunday service, we take a collection. This voluntarily given money is then shared between our congregation and an organization from the local community which has goals that align with Unitarian Universalist principles. This month’s Share the Plate recipient is Santiam Canyon Wildfire Relief Fund through the Santiam Hospital’s Service Integration Team (SIT).
From a Statesman Journal newspaper article: Since the disaster, SIT has connected with 408 households in the Santiam Canyon to distribute donated emergency supplies such as food, clothing, toiletries, fuel cards, pet and livestock feed, says Melissa Baurer, SIT’s Community Liaison Coordinator.
Funds also have been used to assist families and individuals with short-term housing, rental move-in expenses and with immediate needs such as the 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.
To that end, the Santiam Canyon Wildfire Relief Fund is collaborating with government and social service agencies to provide evacuees with information and access to all of the resources that are available. The fund is working closely with both Linn County and Marion County Commissioners offices to ensure that FEMA representatives are on site at the resource centers to help families complete registration forms for disaster relief. Marion County Health and Human Services also will be onsite. The Santiam Outreach Center of the Mid-Willamette Valley Community Action Agency (MWVCAA-SOCC) has committed one full time staff member to work at the Gates Community Church Resource Center and the Linn-Benton Lincoln ESD has committed staff to help complete evacuee forms remotely.
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.
Santiam Canyon Wildfire Relief Fund is a 501 c 3 organization. All donations are tax-deductible.
Please consider making a separate, one-time donation this month with Santiam Canyon Wildfire Relief Fund on the memo line, or as a Share the Plate donation.