Northern California has shown its resiliency repeatedly since 2018. We don’t need to tell you all that we’ve experienced, but we do want to tell you about the good that’s happened in our community.
By coming together, we were able to make some great things happen. Our mission at Butte CAA is to lift others up and out of poverty, but everyone in our community plays a part as well through volunteering, donating, and spreading the word about our programs. Let’s look at some of those achievements together.
With your help in spreading the word about our programs and others’ during the Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS) events we were able to assist close to 2,000 households.
In spite of the interruptions that COVID-19 caused, we were able to bring our staff back from a short furlough and they went straight to work. We weatherized almost 150 homes to make them more energy efficient. Through our Utility Assistance Program, we helped residents who needed help with their power bills. Then, partnering with PG&E, we delivered 375 solar powered batteries to homes with people who have medical devices that rely on power.
Thank you, Accountants
Our VITA program was the most affected by the pandemic. We were in the peak of tax season when we lost the ability to meet with people and many of our student volunteers had to make the safe choice and return home.
Even with those setbacks, community volunteers were able to serve 742 households. This saved them $835,076 in taxpayer preparation fees that remained in the pockets of those who needed it.
Yet, the benefit was greater than just helping save people money on their taxes.
Using the multiplier effect, even our smaller VITA event, benefitted our local economy by over two million dollars being added to it. Those who were able to save money and get their return went to the grocery store to feed their families. Those purchases go into the store and help to create an employee’s paycheck who then uses it to pay rent to their landlord, and so on and so forth.
This year we have adjusted our VITA program once again, so it follows safety guidelines. We are excited to serve you and help boost our local economy.
Putting Food on the Table
Because of the incredible volunteers, who donated 300 hours of their time, we modified the distribution events to drive throughs and had all the food prepackaged and ready to go. It allowed for the safest possible way of getting food to folks who need it.
In six counties, over 12 months, we gave out almost 2 million pounds of food. That’s over 160,000 pounds of food a month! Butte County is our most populated one, but we also serve Glenn, Colusa, Tehama, Plumas and Sierra counties.
In case you were wondering, yes, that is an increase of what we have given in the past. Some of it was a result of the PSPS events because PG&E didn’t want people’s food supply to be affected by the shut offs. While other parts were due to the economic hardship of the pandemic increasing the need for food which resulted in us serving an increase of 10,000 people.
Joy in the Home
We would be remiss if we didn’t give a special thanks to Azad’s Martial Arts for their generosity this past Thanksgiving. They are an incredible local partner and blessed many of our families at our Esplanade House during the Thanksgiving holiday with food baskets.
We weren’t able to have our typical Christmas dinner this year, but we tried something new and exciting. We invited a food truck to our Esplanade House! We were able to organize in such a way that large groups didn’t congregate at the same time.
Thank you to all the generous supporters who paid for the ability for our residents to be able to go to the food truck and get a free meal. It was a big success and a prime example of how donations create opportunities to breathe new life and hope into the holiday season for these families.
The tags for our Giving Tree event flew off the branches of our 12 trees that were placed around town. We have over 73 kids at our Esplanade House and they all received their Christmas presents.
Volunteerism isn’t exclusive to one age group in Chico. Butte and Chico State contribute to the after school and educational classes for our residents. CAVE, Community Action Volunteers and Education, student volunteers from Chico State were able to come back and help out our kids again. We can’t thank them enough for the fun and mentorship they bring the children of our Esplanade House, especially in these crazy times.
So, pat yourself on the back, you helped! Sharing our events on social media, spreading the word to those in need by word of mouth, or even the $5 you put towards making the world a better place. It all makes a difference in our community and we’ll be here if you want to throw your hat in the ring in whatever way makes sense to you. Click below to learn more about getting involved with us! Or head to our donations page if you want to give back.