This is an update of the APSAF-led effort to attract and deploy donations to assist SAF Members in the impact zones of Hurricanes Florence (in the APSAF region) and Michael (in the SESAF region). Both events have been devastating to people, economies and ecosystems, and these regions will be years in recovery.
Regarding the Hurricane Relief Fund, as of October 26th, we have collected $13,200.83 (the net of online GoFundMe donations and checks received to date), and we have sent $1000 checks from your donations to each of 10 SAF Members in North Carolina, Florida and Georgia who were significantly affected by the storms. APSAF also has several thousand dollars in reserve if needed, and additional donations continue to be accepted, at least through the end of the year. Donations have come in increments of $20 to $1000 at a time and have come from individuals, businesses, associations, SAF units, Tree Farm Committees and more. Partner organizations to SAF who were actively involved in the communication effort included ACF, FRA, NCFAE, NAUFRP and a number of state forestry associations.
We are currently more focused on deploying the collected funds to those in need and less focused on asking for additional donations. In doing so, we have been reaching out through broadcast emails and announcements but also through one-on-one outreach via phone and email into the most severely impacted areas. Recipients have been universally humbled by and extraordinarily grateful for the financial and moral support that this has been providing, many somewhat reluctant to accept the help. A common response from impacted members who qualified for - but turned down - the support has been a wish that the contributions go to others who were even more in need.
While the project is continuing, APSAF Leadership would like to thank everyone for their generous support, prayers and many expressions of concern, and we will be sure to thank all past and future contributors personally and properly. In the meantime, please continue to alert APSAF if you or someone you know needs this support by using the links near the bottom of the APSAF homepage (www.apsaf.org).