First, let me begin by wishing all the supporters of Heart Rising, our donors, community partners, fire survivors, grantors and especially the Thalden Foundation and our hard-working, selfless, generous, volunteer teams—a safe, fulfilling, Happy New Year. In 2021 we continued to be reminded that we are literally not out of the woods yet, with fires raging all around us, and communities once again ravaged by flames. It may not have been ours, but the smoke and gray days were a constant reminder that our work is not done.
Here at Heart Rising we have been spending a lot of time making connections, to new families, to resources and to our community partners, especially the Jackson County Community Long-Term Recovery Group, whose website I highly encourage you to visit if you are a fire survivor or are interested in helping someone who is: JCCLTRG.org
And then of course there is our site, HeartRising.org, where you will find links to get help or give help. To reiterate our mission: Heart Rising is a non-profit coordinating and restorative organization, matching teams of volunteers to survivors impacted by area fires in the Rogue Valley. Offering emotional support and friendship, teams assist individuals, couples, and families in securing food, shelter and basic necessities for the long-term. In turn, connections deepen community resiliency, as safe and secure lives and homes are re-established.
In 2021 we, with the help of our teams, were able to assist numerous families and individuals with: finding housing, first and last month rent, household supplies, plumbing supplies, gas cards, food certificates, tools, school supplies, mental health referrals, referrals to healthcare, rent relief, finding state programs for replacing housing and many other resources, especially the JCC-LTRG, who is working around the clock to conduct needs assessments and reach people in motels/hotels, temporary FEMA housing, and trailers dispersed around the Rogue Valley. We are currently working on connecting our families and individuals to Disaster Case Managers, who can connect them to a myriad of services.
We wish to thank the Ashland Community Co-op for providing Heart Rising with an end-of-the-year grant of $1,600 to provide our families with gift cards so they could prepare healthy, nutritious meals over the holidays. We are in the process of distributing those cards and we are grateful beyond words.
Thank you to everyone for your continued support. Our community is being rebuilt thanks to your generosity, kindness, and compassion. Happy New Year.
Lucie K. Scheuer, Director, Heart Rising
Patie Millen, Founder, Heart Rising