Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) International has announced it will provide financial support totaling US$50,000 to Adventist Community Services (ACS), which has been coordinating efforts to help survivors of Butte County, California, United States, recover from deadly wildfires, which started on November 8 and was contained on November 25, 2018. The fires have been declared the nation’s deadliest in a century. according to local authorities.
“When a natural disaster strikes, ADRA, as an international humanitarian agency immediately activates its teams to respond and equally so to disasters affecting North America,” says ADRA International vice president of programs Imad Madanat. “Though the U.S. is not a territory we directly implement in, we willingly seek and reach out to ACS, our sister organization, to provide necessary support to help them fill the gaps in their emergency efforts.”
ADRA connected with ACS shortly after the wildfires caused widespread devastation to assist with ongoing relief and were on standby for ACS as it was assessing needs.
“Based on needs assessments conducted among fire survivors, ACS found that plates, utensils, pots and pans were some of the most needed items families were lacking,” said Charlene Sargent, director of ACS for the Pacific Union Conference. “Hungry people who have lost everything are asking for kitchen items, so they can begin returning to a more normal life of preparing and eating foods they need and love.”
The wildfires destroyed 250,000 acres of land and took the lives of more than 80 people. Several homes, schools, churches, and hospitals, including the Adventist Health Feather River hospital’s lower level, and multiple medical clinics sustained extreme damage.
“FEMA will provide many families with temporary housing, but the units do not include items to prepare their own meals, which is of critical need for displaced families,” Madanat said.
Through the financial assistance of ADRA, ACS in the Pacific Union Conference will be able to purchase and distribute 1,000 kitchen kits for families who were displaced and who are being moved into temporary housing.
“As in any emergency response, it will take time for families to rebuild, but they have the full backing of ACS meanwhile as they endure these painful next steps in their lives,” Madanat said. “ADRA supports the efforts of ACS and is glad to be of assistance to help fill the need.”
Attempts to document the full extent of casualties and property losses are ongoing.
The Adventist Development and Relief Agency is the humanitarian arm of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Its work empowers communities and changes lives around the globe by providing sustainable community development and disaster relief.