Humboldt Area Foundation & Wild Rivers Community Foundation Sets Aside $1.2M for Rio Dell Earthquake Recovery

The Humboldt Area Foundation and Wild Rivers Community Foundation (HAF+WRCF) has set aside at least $1.2 million for nonprofit organizations, tribes and government entities helping residents of Rio Dell and surroundings areas displaced by December’s 6.4-magnitude quake.

“These funds will continue to help with immediate assistance provision and build a more resilient community going forward,” said Michelle Carrillo, HAF+WRCF’s Interim Vice President of Strategy, Programs and Community Solutions.

The $1.2 million is in addition to the nearly $500,000 that HAF+WRCF directed to recovery efforts led by incredible volunteers and organizations active on the ground. The money came from generous contributions from the foundation’s donors and philanthropic partners, Carrillo said.

“In light of this disaster not reaching the FEMA threshold for public aid, HAF+WRCF and the broader philanthropic network recognized early on how critical philanthropic dollars would be to response and recovery for Rio Dell and the surrounding Eel River Valley,” Carrillo said.

“We are committed to working with local community groups, tribes and governmental entities to support a healthy recovery process, particularly for those who might be especially vulnerable to the long-term impacts of displacement, trauma and housing insecurity,” she said.

While HAF+WRCF does not grant funds to individuals, it does distribute grants via its Disaster Response & Resilience Fund to qualifying community entities. The foundation has partnered with the city of Rio Dell and the County of Humboldt to determine how best to serve displaced residents struggling to find adequate shelter, food and supplies.

“The City of Rio Dell’s collaborative partnerships with the county, state, and community organizations like HAF+WRCF are crucial to moving our recovery efforts forward,” said Rio Dell City Manager Kyle Knopp. “Our top priority is to end earthquake-related displacement for our residents, and these funds will bring much-needed relief to help displaced residents rebuild or find acceptable alternate accommodations.”

Humboldt County 2nd District Supervisor Michelle Bushnell said, “With no federal disaster relief funds coming to move our recovery efforts forward, funds provided by HAF+WRCF are critical to help Rio Dell and the county meet our collective goal to end earthquake-related displacement. I want to extend my heartfelt thanks to HAF+WRCF and their philanthropic partners for their partnership and generosity.”

To administer the funds, the foundation has assigned Senior Program Officer Ali O. Lee to work with community partners and the foundation’s Community Response Team to allocate those resources.

Where the funds come from
In the days and weeks since the quake struck, HAF+WRCF’s new and existing donors responded by contributing to the foundation’s Disaster Response & Resilience Fund. Most contributions came from large, non-local foundations and donors, which HAF+WRCF is leveraging to meet local needs across its four-county service region.

The partners include Sierra Health Foundation, The James Irvine Foundation, California Wellness Foundation, National Philanthropic Trust, Silicon Valley Community Foundation, Marin Community Foundation, Sacramento Region Community Foundation, Humboldt Health Foundation, Amalgamated Foundation and The California Endowment.

Organizations that helped elevate the need for support include Northern California Grantmakers, The Mendocino Community Foundation, and the League of California Community Foundations. They were joined by the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services and Social Innovation team with support from Senator McGuire.

To learn more about HAF+WRCF’s Disaster Response & Resilience Fund and to submit a grant application, visit Contact HAF+WRCF at or call 707-442-2993.

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