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The wildfires in northern and southern California have already burned hundreds of thousands of acres and forced over a quarter of a million people from their homes.

Salesforce and Salesforce.org are committed to supporting our communities in crisis. This time last year, I was helping the American Red Cross with relief efforts for the devastating North Bay Fires. It was there that I learned that the Red Cross emergency response vehicles are the workhorse of disaster operations. Driven by trained volunteers, these vehicles deliver food, water, shelter supplies and relief items to communities in need.

When I asked volunteers what Salesforce could do to help, the unanimous answer was “help us renew our aging fleet of emergency response vehicles by sponsoring one.” 

And our Ohana has answered their call for support. We are pleased to announce that we have reached our goal of raising $250,000 to fund an emergency response vehicle thanks to the generous donations from our employees, as well as Salesforce.org and Salesforce leadership. In addition to helping refresh the aging fleet of vehicles, as a result of our fundraising, the response vehicle will be stocked with needed supplies and meals -- lunch, dinner and snacks -- for 10 days to assist survivors and emergency response personnel battling disasters.

The Salesforce-funded response vehicle will be housed in the American Red Cross Gold Country Region, headquartered in Sacramento. The vehicle strengthens the resilience of the entire region, which includes Butte County, for years to come and will also be available to respond whenever disaster strikes around the country. The average Red Cross response vehicle travels more than 10,000 miles a year, bringing hope to those who have lost everything.

But California still needs us. We're keeping in close contact with the American Red Cross and our partners on the ground who are delivering relief.

We hope others will look for ways to give back, whether big or small. If you want to join us, please consider donating to the American Red Cross to help people affected by the California wildfires at bit.ly/Calfires. Your donation enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from these disasters.

Seeing first-hand the impact that response vehicles have on communities, I encourage other companies to fund one. You can contact your local Red Cross chapter to get started.

We’re grateful to be able to help people affected by disasters and will continue to look for ways to contribute with both funding and employee volunteerism.