Commonwealth of Virginia Campaign Offers Way to Help California Fire Victims

November 01, 2007

Nov. 1, 2007 — Members of the University of Virginia community who wish to help the victims of the Southern California wildfires may make a gift through the current Commonwealth of Virginia Campaign.

Employees may donate to two charities that are on the ground in the affected area: American Red Cross Disaster Relief and Salvation Army National Services. To donate, employees should designate their gifts by entering the appropriate four-digit code: 4008 for American Red Cross Disaster Relief, and 0338 for Salvation Army National Services. The American Institute of Philanthropy rates both charities as top nonprofits and they are both CVC member charities.

As of earlier this week, the numbers from the San Diego-area fires were telling:

•    More than 1 million people were evacuated from their homes, hospitals and nursing homes.

•    More than 22,000 acres have been destroyed.

•    1,600 homes are piles of ash and smoking timbers.

•    76,000 people are in emergency shelters.

•    The American Red Cross Disaster Services experts and the Salvation Army have set up shelters and food service lines to help the many volunteers and victims of the worst national natural disaster since Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

The annual Commonwealth of Virginia campaign allows University of Virginia employees to join with colleagues around state government to designate some of their salaries to any of nearly 1,400 charitable organizations.

The University's goal this year is $675,000. The campaign began Oct. 15 and runs through Nov. 30. As of earlier this week, U.Va. employees had pledged $159,000.