On September 4, 2020, the largest single fire in California’s recorded history erupted. The Creek Fire burned around 348,000 acres and destroyed 856 structures by the time it was contained. As news came in each day of the damage and destruction, JP Marketing’s Client Services Director, Michele Meisch, felt the desire to help rebuild the effected communities. Michele felt an even deeper connection to the foothill and mountain communities since she grew up in Tollhouse, graduated from Sierra High School, had volunteered in the High Sierra for years and Shaver Lake was in her top 3 weekend getaway locations. As a result, she mentioned to Jane that she was thinking about starting a non-profit focused on the rebuild efforts that would be years in the making. Jane was feeling the desire to do something to help and encouraged Michele to do it, offering to donate the logo, website design, and be a mentor on this journey. On that day, Rebuild Our Sierra was birthed.
Coincidently, the Shaver Lake Visitors Bureau (SLVB) called JP Marketing a day or two after Michele talked to Jane. They talked to Michele about needing a website for a long-term fundraising effort they wanted to start. Seeing the vision alignment, Michele pitched the Rebuild Our Sierra (ROS) idea to them, and together they launched on October 1.
Rebuild Our Sierra is a locally organized, grassroots, long-term fundraising campaign backed by the Shaver Lake Visitors Bureau, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Its goal focuses on unifying fundraising efforts to ensure that all funds received are dispersed directly back into the communities and individuals directly affected by the evacuations and destruction of the Creek Fire. Essentially, the objective is to return families to their properties, businesses to their vibrancy, and the forests to a sustainable destination for generations to come to enjoy.
What Will They Do?
Rebuild Our Sierra’s goal is to raise one million dollars in its first year to be distributed to many communities across county lines. While the perception is that secondary vacation homes were destroyed, the majority of the destruction was actually to residential homes – the primary homes for families who continue to be displaced. These community members have nowhere to go and few means to rebuild. This is why Rebuild Our Sierra’s fundraising efforts are so critical. When other relief organizations move on, and the community is left to pick up the pieces of this devastating disaster, Rebuild Our Sierra’s work will really begin.
How Can You Connect?
To get involved, donate, or apply for funds, please visit RebuildOurSierra.org. You can also follow Rebuild Our Sierra on Instagram and Facebook, @RebuildOurSierra, to learn more and get connected. There is a long road ahead to return our neighboring treasure to its beauty and vitality, but ROS is going to be there every step of the way. We hope you will join us.
— JACKIE NAKASHIAN, Associate Account Manager