April 18, 2023 | Events

San Benito County Flood and Storm Response

San Benito County Flood and Storm Response

This winter season San Benito County saw storms and flooding impact our community in ways we haven’t seen in years. With over 18 inches of rainfall to date, nearing close to the 22 inches recorded in 2017, San Benito County experienced disastrous weather that caused evacuations, road closures, levee breaches, damaged roads and properties to hundreds in this county.

It was without question San Benito County needed help. The Community Foundation began working immediately to help flood victims from the January 9th storm, when the San Benito Disaster Recovery Fund was opened and dedicated to providing relief to those in the county affected by local disasters.

From there, a committee was created consisting of the organizations Catholic Charities, Community Food Bank, Health and Human Services, OES, Red Cross, Salvation Army, VFW Post 9242, and Youth Alliance along with volunteers, Mary Lou Lopez and Paula Bonilla in order to provide the resources and best form of aid to those most affected by the current flooding in San Benito County. Over $132,000 was raised by 39 donors. This granted immediate emergency relief to 15 families in the form of Target gift cards and with the help of Hollister Community Outreach, 100 Big 5 gift cards were distributed to homeless individuals for shoes and socks affected by the flooding.

Saturday, February 25th a Disaster Recovery Event took place at the Epicenter where 32 families received cash support granted from the Disaster Recovery Fund. In efforts to help with the most recent March 10th storm and flood emergency relief, Target gift cards were just distributed to 20 more affected families throughout the county. Grants will also be awarded to nonprofits responding to victims affected by these storms once needs are assessed.

Our support could not happen without our donors, partner organizations, and major contributors, Monterey Peninsula Foundation and League of California Community Foundations. We also would like to extend a huge thank you to Mary Lou Lopez and Paula Bonilla for selflessly volunteering and working tirelessly with our flood victims throughout these past months.

We are still in the very early stages of recovery and there is no doubt long-term resilience planning is necessary.

The Foundation could not do the work that we do without the strength and generosity of the community. If you would like to help, The Disaster Recovery Fund is still open and accepting donations.

You can make a gift by check payable to CFFSBC with "Disaster Fund" written in the memo line, or a credit card donation on our website at givesanbenito.org.