COVID-19 Service-Related Resources
The Richter Center is compiling and frequently updating resources for members of the Fresno State community related to community engagement and service-learning. See below for links to resources for specific groups. We encourage you to visit the campus COVID-19 site for university-wide updates and as well as links to community, state, and national sites related to the current situation.
- Resources for Faculty
- Resources for Students
- Information for Community Partners
- Resource guide for the Fresno State Community compiled by the Student Health and Counseling Center with comprehensive lists to address a variety of needs ranging from academic support to emergency funds to mental health resources, and more.
- Californians for All contains tips for volunteering during this time and resources for statewide volunteering opportunities.
- The Fresno County Behavioral Health Warm Line provides non-emergency emotional and coping support to community members. Call 559.600.WARM (9276) for support. Download this pdf flier to view additional resources for emotional support during this time.
**Also, check out these Virtual Recreation Opportunities. This comprehensive list is a partnership with the Department of Recreation Administration and was compiled by Fresno State student Macie Saiz.
Creek Fire Emergency Response
During emergencies and natural disasters like the Creek Fire, most people want to help, either through the donation of time, money, or otherwise. However, there are a few things you should always keep in mind, especially early on in the emergency.
First, remember that during the first few days the focus is on emergency services and relief. Agencies like the Red Cross and volunteer fire departments may not be able to accept new volunteers right away. Generally, they are also not able to accept donations of things like water, food, and clothing for a number of reasons, including the current COVID-19 pandemic. The relief phase may only last a few days or weeks. However, the recovery phase can last months or even years. Therefore, there will be more and continued opportunities for you to donate your time, talent, and treasure to support those in need.
Second, we encourage you to be cautious when contributing. There are always well-intentioned individuals and groups who hastily arrange drives to collect things like food, water and clothing. In many cases, those donations are never used by the people impacted by the disaster. There are many stories about how tons of donated items have to be destroyed after disasters like Hurricane Katrina simply because there was too much to sort through and/or the items had gone bad by the time they got to their destination. Also, there will always be ill-intentioned individuals who try to use disasters to their advantage. Please remember:
- Don’t feel pressured to donate and don’t let anyone rush you into making a donation. Those are things scammers do.
- Watch out for solicitations that give lots of vague and sentimental claims, but give you no specifics about how your donation will be used.
- Don’t assume solicitations on social media or crowdfunding sites are legitimate, or that hyperlinks are accurate — even in posts that are shared or liked by your friends. Do your own research. Read Understanding Crowdfunding for more information.
- Research any charity before you give. Also, if tax deductions are important to you, remember that donations to individuals are not tax deductible.
Third, charitable organizations can usually make your dollar go much farther than you can. For example, the Central California Food Bank can purchase up to seven meals for just one dollar, where you might only be able to buy a single can of soup with that same dollar.
If you are going to donate, make sure the charity you are considering supporting is a bona fide, tax exempt 501(c)(3) public charity. If you aren't sure, ask for the organization's EIN (Employer Identification Number). You can also research charities through organizations like BBB Wise Giving Alliance, Charity Navigator, CharityWatch, and GuideStar. Finally, check out the charity’s website to make sure it gives information about the programs you want to support.
Some reputable organizations who are involved in local, state and national disaster relief like the California wildfires and recent hurricanes include, but are not limited to:
- American Red Cross - Central California Chapter
- Operation USA
- Catholic Charities - Diocese of Fresno
If you would like to support Fresno State students affected by the wildfires with a monetary donation, please consider giving to the Good Samaritan Fund, a resource for students experiencing unanticipated financial challenges that can impact degree completion. These are grant funds, not loans, and, thus, do not have to be repaid. You can help ensure your donation goes to students impacted by the fires by indicating something like “for students displaced wildfires.”
If you would like to support faculty and staff who have been affected by the fires, the University has established a new trust account, named the Catastrophic Fund for Fresno State Faculty and Staff. This fund will be used to address unexpected emergencies that have caused undue financial hardship for Fresno State employees. Employees will be asked to submit a simple application, similar to how students are able to access the Good Samaritan Fund. All full-time employees are eligible, including those employed by our auxiliaries.
We are so pleased to report that this past academic year (2019-20), 17,392 students, faculty, and staff members provided 1,271,162 hours of service to the community which is equal to an estimated economic value of over $38.7 Million.
The services provided range from short-term activities like blood-drives with the Central California Blood Center and Kids Day benefiting Valley Children's Hospital to an average of 156 service-learning courses and long-term teaching internships with local school districts.
To learn more about how you can contribute to Fresno State's annual service goal, contact the Richter Center at 559.278.7079