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Ventura County storm victims to receive financial assistance through local storm fund

VENTURA COUNTY, Calif.—Wednesday, February 21st marks exactly 8 weeks since flash flooding damaged 400 homes in Ventura County.  

Victims of the December storm are now receiving financial help thanks to generous contributions from the community to the Ventura County Community Foundation’s Storm Fund— a fund which was established in response to the lack of FEMA assistance.
“People just see the fact that there are others that are struggling and they need support and they know that maybe my $20 isn't going to make a big difference. But, you know, if 20 people come together and everybody commits $20 and then more and more, it just really adds up,” said Ventura County Community Foundation CFO  Bonnie Gilles.
It’s added up to $400,000 in funding from donors across the Central Coast.
City Managers for Oxnard, Ventura, and Port Hueneme will distribute the funds via pre-paid debit cards to community members who have been impacted. 
“The average person has less than $1,000 saved in case of an emergency. And if you think about the scale of this disaster, where everything in your house is wiped out, your car is wiped out, and there is no insurance and there's nothing to help you rebuild. You know, what we're talking about is really a lifeline,” said Ventura County Community Foundation CEO Vanessa Bechtel.

Each card will have between $750 to $2,000 on it.
“ We wish we could do more. Quite frankly, I really hope that people are moved to be able to give more and that we can all just rally together because $1,000, when you've lost everything, is a really meaningful gift.And it's it's just not enough to rebuild. And that's what we really want to help people with right now,” said Bechtel.
For more information on how to apply for financial assistance, call Vanessa Bechtel from the Ventura County Community Foundation at (805) 330- 6676.

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Mina Wahab

Arab-American producer & reporter with a mission to dig deep in interviews, share authentically, shed light on the issues that matter, and provoke deep thought.


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