Fire Relief Efforts


If you have housing, personal services, help with clean-up or the like, I personally recommend you to our local CERT chapter:Big Sur Cert and list them there. This site is tried and true, having been set up during the Basin Fire 5 years ago, and re-activated during any and all emergencies. If you wish to donate money, I recommend our local Coast Property Association again, they are tried and true and their Board of Directors has always worked tirelessly to help our own. They are efficient, organized, and help all deserving individuals and families. 100% of the money they raise goes to the sur-vivers. Beware of organizations or even the occasional individual with their own agenda. (Neither of the organizations listed below are included in that warning. The organization of the,efforts of both organizations Re spearheaded by highly respected locals, Sharen Carey and Ken Wright, respectively.)

About relief funds: Posted by Sharen Carey
I have seen a number of postings regarding different funds for different individuals affected by the Big Sur Fire. While our hearts and prayers go out to each and every one of these people/families, I find it counter-productive to have multiple funds popping up. We ALL want to help those affected by the fire – and there are many, each with a personal and heart-wrenching story.

CPOA (Coast Property Owners Association) is collecting donations which will be pooled and distributed in the form of grants to those in need of assistance in the rebuilding effort. This organization has the list of ALL affected by the fire and will be distributing funds where needed.
Mom end our
For those who prefer to personally drop off donations of cash or checks, Big Sur Health Center will collect and pass funds on to CPOA.

Having one organization collect and distribute funds will consolidate donation efforts and enable the distribution of funds in an equitable manner to all those in need. Certainly, you can request that your donation be used in support of a specific person or family, if you wish, but, in my humble opinion, we are all in this together and we need to coordinate our efforts in the best interest of all.

On behalf of everyone at Big Sur Health Center, I applaud the generosity of this community and I hope that effort, in some small way, will give comfort to those who have experienced loss in this fire. Our hearts go out to you all.

Donations can be made to

Monterey County, California — The Community Foundation for Monterey County (CFMC) has created The Big Sur Fire Fund to assist the Big Sur community in recovery efforts from the 2013 Pfeiffer Ridge Fire. Donations to this fund will provide support in the aftermath of the fire. Grants from the fund will be distributed to nonprofit agencies assisting individuals and organizations to meet needs as they arise.

“This is one of the most significant events to impact Monterey County in recent years. The fund at the CFMC will provide support to the Big Sur community,” said Dan Baldwin, CFMC President/CEO.

The CFMC has seeded the fund with a $10,000 grant and has waived all administrative fees so 100% of donations will be used for grantmaking. The funds will be used to make grants to agencies providing emergency assistance, health and wellness, and equipment, among other needs. The fund will provide a trusted repository for philanthropic assets to be directed specifically for this purpose.

Those wishing to contribute to the fund can visit, mail a check to the Community Foundation for Monterey County, 2354 Garden Road, Monterey, CA, 93940 “Attention: Big Sur Fire Fund,” or call 831.375.9712 Monday through Friday from 8:30 to 5:00 PM.

8 thoughts on “Fire Relief Efforts

  1. I gotta say, near 800 acres of treacherous wild brush fire out in four days, maybe five. Pretty fantastic. It’s like Israel’s 6 Day War. I wonder if it isn’t some kind of record. I’m in meltdown. So glad to see it ending, this has been a heart-thumper. I know it’s Christmas in a couple of days but it’s also the start of a New Year. God bless all.

  2. There is one more that I am confident 100% of the funds will go to the Bug Sur residents and that is the Erin Lee Gafill print sale of 150 copies…go to the Nepenthe FB page for details…
    Thank you Kate for sharing your thoughts and recommendations….

  3. As a long time fund raiser & resident of Palo Colorado Cyn, I want to commend the Community Foundation of Monterey County for creating & seeding the Big Sur Fire Fund. Once the long journey of recovery is over, I would like to see something like this fund, continue as a designated fund for the Big Sur Community in general. That way external foundations & estates can be approached to keep an endowment growing for the benefit of all.

    I continue to be awed by the way this community pulls together. No outsider has to come in & teach us how to organize & work at a team, … to accomplish any goal. It seems to be as natural as breathing in & breathing out, to use the strengths each resident brings to the table.

    Bravo, Big Sur!

  4. Just to offer a different view: yes, the CPOA fund delivers 100% of the proceeds to the folks in need and that’s excellent. On the other hand, there’s a couple other considerations: One, many of the individual online fundraising sites were created by friends and family of the folks affected by the fire, or even by themselves, and some were created before the CPOA got their donation site up. These sites, even though they take a percentage of the proceeds, have given these people something to place some hope on, and some $, and I’m sure the folks who created them feel good about doing so.

    Second, Big Sur is loved around the world, and many Global residents are aware of the fire and want to help. They may not come across the CPOA site, but may see the personal sites, or even some of the product sites which are donating a % of sales to recovery efforts.

    My personal opinion is that ALL resources for funds to help the folks that need it are ok. FOR the locals, of course using the CPOA site is best. But there are others for whom it may not be the best option. JMO.

  5. While I appreciate your sentiments, and will not censor them, we here locally are much more aware of what is needed and how to best deliver it to those most in need. I know being in Texas for lo these many years makes you feel disconnected, and you are anxious to help in any way you can. I honor and respect that. True, ALL truly helpful efforts and ideas are appreciated. I do not to denigrate ANY fundraising efforts, just seek to explain why CERT and CPOA re the ones I support and recommend. They showed up at the fire meetings with check book in hand, not,waiting for fund-raisings. For many, this will be the first monies actually in hand.

    What you may not know is that CPOA does MUCH more than donate or act as a funnel for those who do. CPOA helps rebuild. They act as an intermediary between those who lost homes – many non-conforming and non-permitted, and the County building department. One house lost in the Basin fire, uninsured, non-permitted was completed and completely legal due to the tireless work of CPOA. Building professionals from CPOA were on site continuously doing what they do best – BUILDING. For free. All of it. Materials, labor, paperwork, the whole shebang. There is so much more than just raising money or soliciting donations that is needed. Getting permits and county cooperation is critical. CPOA’s Board is extremely skilled at making things happen due to their unique knowledge and relationships forged with the PTB at the county level. Go fund doesn’t do that, NO ONE DOES THAT BUT CPOA.

    So, Tzila, while I know your care and concern is very real and heart-felt, your knowledge may not be. Many will not be able to get home until Christmas Day to see the devastation. Fortunately, they have others who lived through this 5 years ago who know what is needed like no others possibly can. THAT IS WHY I SUPPORT CPOA OVER ALL OTHERS. Their efforts go far and away above what other organizations offer. They are community based, selfless, giving, compassionate people WHO GET THINGS DONE. Rather than encourage donations to other organizations who look to MAKE MONEY off our unfortunate disaster, why not encourage people to channel their efforts through an organization that will make much more of a difference, and is not about making money for itself?

  6. Kate- Many thanks for supporting CPOA as the “gp-to” Organization to donate funds to help in the recovery effort. I’m proud to announce that CPOA is working collaboratively with the Community Foundation of Monterey County to get donated funds to the affected residents in a way that is effective and equitable. Regarding other individuals and Org.’s fundraising …… I’d just say that before we even started getting our website enabled to accept donations, we were engaged in outreach and writing checks to individuals and families ($500. per adult) that fled with just the clothes on their back. To us, it was more important to focus our band width on helping our friends and neighbors in all the ways we can think of before cranking up the machinery of fund raising. Now that the smoke is starting to clear and the needs assessment process begins to get underway, CPOA’s Board of Directors, in partnership with other members of the community of Big Sur can focus on generating energy, both financially and administratively, to get people back on their property. Additionally, CPOA continues to provide an important point of contact with all the Organizations and Agencies that provide support and governance on our Coast.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.