You Made a Difference for Families Across the State

Year End Message from the California Fire Foundation


As 2019 draws to a close, we are reminded that the holidays represent a time of togetherness and hope.  A time to gather with friends and family, and look forward to a new year full of possibilities.  These sentiments of togetherness and hope are at the heart of the California Fire Foundation’s mission.

The California Fire Foundation, a nonprofit 501 (c)(3) organization, proudly offers help to those in need.  Whether it be a family who lost their home in a fire, or a family who lost their loved one in the line of duty, the Foundation offers hope to those whose lives can be uprooted in an instant, when it seems like all hope is lost.

The Foundation is here with a simple message – we are here with you to offer help and hope.


The year started with Gavin Newsom’s inaugural benefit concert, California Rises, helping fund long-term recovery for the individuals and areas impacted by the 2018 wildfires. California Rises brought first responders and others impacted by the fires together with our state’s leaders in a celebration of hope, healing and renewal.

As we emerge from the shadow of the catastrophic 2018 fire season, we are reminded that our work is far from over. Fire seasons are getting longer with each passing year and many families are still reeling from the loss and devastation of the deadliest and most destructive wildfires in our state’s history.

That is why your continued support ensures that the firefighters, families of firefighters and the communities they serve can count on the California Fire Foundation to help them through the most difficult of times.

Thousands of California firefighters work tirelessly for our communities, day in and day out and when the catastrophic wildfires of 2018 struck many of our firefighters remained on the front lines, even as their own homes were lost.

Now in its second year, the California Firefighters Benevolent Fund was established in direct response to the losses experienced by firefighters battling the Camp Fire in Northern California and the Woolsey and Hill Fires in Southern California.

The California Firefighters Benevolent Fund recognizes the unparalleled work of firefighters in our communities providing assistance and support to firefighters who are displaced or impacted by fire or natural disaster. Additionally, the Benevolent Fund aids firefighters who have been impacted by burn injuries in the line of duty.  Through partnerships with firefighter burn institutes, the Foundation provides scholarships for burn-injured firefighters to attend events such as the World Burn Congress and connect with the larger community of burn survivors.

This program is funded through individual and corporate donations and thanks to such donations the California Fire Foundation can continue its support of firefighters who have suffered immeasurably.

Following the unprecedented devastation of the wildfires of 2018, the California Fire Foundation saw the need to provide an ongoing, long-term Wildfire Relief program to support the communities affected by disaster. While an immediate influx of funding may flood into communities in the days and weeks following the disaster, the recovery efforts take years to be completed.  The Foundation’s support and help remains long after the cameras have stopped rolling.

In order to give continued support for the California communities that have been affected by wildfire over the last several years, the California Fire Foundation has created a grant program for organizations that are working on the ground in impacted areas.  By working closely with these organizations to assess ongoing need and effective funding strategies, the Foundation is providing a continued line of support to the Californians who are still living with the impacts of devastating wildfires.

During such fast-moving and chaotic disaster situations, the California Fire Foundation provides funds to organizations giving direct relief to affected communities. By collaborating with other nonprofit groups and community organizations through grants and other financial support, the Foundation is able to give additional assistance to California communities that are in the midst of a disaster.

In addition to long term relief, the California Fire Foundation offers immediate assistance for victims of fire and natural disasters.  The Supplying Aid to Victims of Emergency (SAVE) program enables our state’s firefighters and the Foundation to provide support when it is needed most.  The SAVE program provides on-scene relief to those affected by fire or natural disaster by way of a $250 gift card that can be used for food, lodging, medicine and other immediate needs.

Thanks to continued support of the California Fire Foundation, we were able to increase the amount from $100 to $250 in 2019.

Since the program’s inception in 2014, over 56,000 disaster victims in California have received immediate financial relief through the SAVE program after disaster struck.

While addressing the immediate and long-term aftermath of a fire or disaster helps those impacted get back on their feet, fire prevention can help ensure that citizens do not become victims in the first place.

The California Fire Foundation’s Firefighters on Your Side is a public service program aimed at educating diverse communities about fire safety issues.  Unfortunately, significant portions of the population miss vital fire safety messages due to fear, lack of knowledge as well as cultural and language barriers.

To date, the Firefighters on Your Side Program has featured print and digital materials in Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin, Tagalog, and Vietnamese, in addition to English including disaster preparedness tips for elderly Californians.

Through this invaluable program underserved communities in California have access to information that might not otherwise reach their communities.


Honoring the fallen has been one of the California Fire Foundation’s primary missions since the organization’s inception.  The 17th Annual California Firefighters Memorial Ceremony was held in September in Capitol Park, the historic grounds of California’s State Capitol in Sacramento.

In a solemn remembrance steeped in the traditions of the firehouse, hundreds of uniformed firefighters, family members and grateful citizens gathered in the heart of California’s capital to pay tribute to those who paid the ultimate price to keep us safe.  With the evocative sound of the Pipes and Drums of California Professional Firefighters filling the air, thirty-four names of our brave sisters and brothers were added to the Memorial Wall to join the more than 1,300 fallen heroes already adorned on the wall.

Part of protecting the legacy of those who have lost their lives in the line of duty is ensuring the children of fallen firefighters have every opportunity to realize their dream of receiving a higher education.  Through the Daniel A. Terry Scholarship program, the Foundation works to make this dream a reality.  Each initial scholarship award is $2,000 and as of 2019, scholarships have been made renewable for up to four years, for a total award package of up to $8,000. 

Without continued financial support this program and so many others offered by the Foundation simply could not exist.

We are so very grateful for your unwavering dedication to the California Fire Foundation. Your support, and the support of our fire family and communities across California, helps make our work possible.

Together we can ensure these vital programs continue and with them we can offer those in need of assistance hope when at times all hope seems lost.

Thank you for supporting us through 2019 we are truly grateful.

Happy Holidays

The California Fire Foundation 

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