Wednesday, November 07, 2007                                                                                       View Comments

SHARE Responds to the California Fires

Reposted from the Freethought Café by J.C. Samuelson

Those who found interesting the recent article (also here) about secular charity in the context of the California fires might find encouragement from the following press release from the Center for Inquiry.

By James Underdown

On October 26, 2007, the Center for Inquiry-Los Angeles launched a fund-raising campaign through the Secular Humanist Aid and Relief Effort (SHARE) to aid some of the less fortunate victims of the recent California wildfires.

The devastation out here is vast. At least fifteen fires destroyed over 1,500 homes in southern California. The fires razed nearly half a million acres and forced the evacuation of over a half million people from their homes. The burned areas stretch from Ventura County northwest of Los Angeles east to the San Bernardino National Forest and south to the U.S.-Mexico border. For almost a week, a smoky haze drifted over our Hollywood offices.

Losses total at least $1 billion in San Diego County alone and include much of the state's southern farmland. The state's avocado crop has been severely damaged. The loss of agricultural products will no doubt put some of our neighbors and their children at risk from a major loss of income. This is something that many families can ill afford and may affect their foreseeable future. CFI has decided to earmark the funds we raise for lower-income folks who are least able to absorb sudden financial loss.

As with the flooding from Katrina and the tsunami in the Indian Ocean, secular humanists expressed a desire to help, so we sent out an e-mail nationwide. As of this moment we have raised just under six thousand dollars. We hope more contributions will continue to come in.

Those wishing to help may send funds to SHARE at PO Box 664, Amherst, NY 14226 or visit https://secure.ga1.org/05/california_fire_relief . All funds sent to SHARE are tax-exempt in the United States. Thanks to those who gave and to those firefighters who worked so hard to contain the blazes.

Jim Underdown is Executive Director of the Center for Inquiry-Los Angeles