United Ways in Southern California Respond to California Wildfires with Recovery Fund

Los Angeles, CA, October 28, 2007 --(PR.com)-- United Way of Greater Los Angeles along with eight regional United Way organizations are responding to the devastating wildfires by launching the regional United Way Southern California Wildfires Recovery Fund.

1. The Fund will focus primarily on the aftermath to ensure community-wide healing. United Ways will convene volunteer committees of local community leaders to review applications from support agencies and develop strategies to address the long term needs of the communities affected.

2. This Fund represents a collaboration of several United Ways across the region including: United Way of Greater Los Angeles, United Way of San Diego, Inland Empire United Way, Orange County United Way, United Way of the Inland Valleys, Arrowhead United Way, United Way of Santa Barbara County, United Way of Ventura County and United Way of California.

Elise Buik, president and CEO for United Way of Greater Los Angeles, states, “The resilient network of United Way partners continues to strengthen communities and improve lives. We are dedicated to help rebuild the lives, homes and communities of people who have lost so much in this tragedy. We invite you to work with us until every person impacted by the wildfires has a community to call home.”

To help jump start this recovery fund City National Bank will make immediate donations of $25,000 to the fund and another $25,000 to United Way’s partner agency American Red Cross to help in their relief efforts. In addition, the bank will match up to $50,000 in donations by its 2,900 colleagues.

Another crucial role United Way is playing in the response to the wildfires is to ensure the strength of 2-1-1, an easy-to-remember phone number that can be dialed for people who need services or for those who want to offer help. With the Southern California wildfires, 2-1-1 has again demonstrated its powerful role. Tens of thousands of people in the region are getting connected with the services they need, such as finding temporary shelter.

Community partnerships will be critical to the long term recovery efforts. Within these efforts, the initial response to disasters is led by the American Red Cross while United Way takes the lead in long term recovery.

How People Can Help

• Financial donations can be made to the Fund at: www.unitedwayla.org.
• Questions can be directed to Carol Williams at 858-636-4177, or by email to, socalfund@uwsd.org.
• If people are interested in volunteering or making in-kind donations: Dial 2-1-1.

About United Way of Greater Los Angeles
United Way of Greater Los Angeles is a nonprofit organization that creates pathways out of poverty by focusing on meeting basic needs, improving educational achievement and increasing financial stability for the most vulnerable in our community. Through its research work, United Way identifies the issues and works in partnership with community leaders and supporters to solve them by funding targeted programs and advocating for change. For more information, visit www.unitedwayla.org.

United Way of Greater Los Angeles
A. Mackenzie