The ongoing fires in the North Bay and region-wide power outages continue to impact the entire Summer Search Bay Area community. Two Bay Area staff members have had to evacuate their homes due to the Kincade Fire. The impact of the fires on our students in Sonoma County and Vallejo is still being determined, as cell phone and email communication has been difficult with the power outages. Schools across the North Bay have been closed, putting additional pressure on families, especially those who depend on free/reduced lunch programs or are unable to afford or access last-minute child care. We also know that many of our board members and donors have been impacted as well.
Given Summer Search’s culture of supporting students and staff holistically, we have decided to raise an Emergency Fund to support our staff, students, and their families with any hardship that has resulted from this crisis. During the fires in 2017, our families were most affected by loss of income during evacuations and struggled to pay rent and purchase food in the months following the fires. This Fund is not included in our organization's budgeted expenses, but it feels vitally important to leverage the power of the Summer Search network in this way.
Thank you for all you do to support the entire Summer Search community, in triumph and in challenging times like these. We will continue to keep you updated on the impact the fires and outages have on our community and how this Emergency Fund supports the recovery effort.