In 2020, wildfires burned 1.2 million acres across eight counties in Oregon, affecting communities already exacerbated and disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. In response, we launched the Wildfire Response and Recovery Fund, prioritizing unrestricted grants to organizations serving vulnerable communities including communities of color, low-income communities and undocumented individuals, many of whom expressed needing culturally-specific and culturally-responsive climate crisis recovery and relief.
The flexibility of our unrestricted grants allowed community-based organizations to expand their staff capacity, support families where they live and quickly provide essential services. Wildfire grants were used in a variety of ways to help those impacted, including providing access to temporary shelter, food assistance, PPE and medical support, direct financial assistance and legal support. Thanks to the generosity of our philanthropic and corporate partners, as well as hundreds of individual donors, we were able to provide grants to 18 community-based organizations so far, helping to serve an estimated 24,500 kids and families throughout the state.
We know that with the threat of climate change, crises like wildfires and heat waves, are only increasing. We will continue to meet the needs of vulnerable families, while remaining committed to centering communities of color.