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AARP AARP States Oregon

Communities Devastated by Wildfires Get Help from AARP Foundation

courtesy of KOBI-TV

Portland – Two Oregon communities will get a boost in recovering from the 2020 wildfires thanks to $200,000 in grants from the AARP Foundation. These grants are part of $1 million the foundation granted to organizations after 2020 disasters from fires and Hurricane Sally. Grantees of AARP Foundation's ’Wildfire Relief Fund" in Oregon include:

  • Center for Nonprofit Legal Services, $100,000 (Jackson County)
  • United Way of Jackson County, $50,000
  • United Way of Lane County, $50,000

“We are thrilled by the generous grants of the foundation,” said Bandana Shrestha, AARP Oregon Director of Community Engagement. “AARP Oregon works closely with these organizations and in these communities to help create places for people of all ages, races and abilities to live, work and play. We’re committed to continuing lending a hand to these Oregon communities in the future.”
The 2020 wildfire season was record-breaking — destroying over 5 million acres across several states. Major fires burned one after another, polluting the air to dangerous levels, consuming thousands of buildings, and threatening millions of lives.

Comments from Grantees

United Way of Jackson is humbled and honored to receive the support of the AARP Foundation.  The remarkable devastation in our community has been matched by remarkable generosity; we have received grants and donations from all 50 states and 5 foreign countries.  The fabric of our community has been torn and this generous grant will help us to restore, rebuild and renew the lives of those directly impacted.

Dee Anne Everson, CEO/Executive Director, United Way of Jackson County

​The Center for NonProfit Legal Services is very grateful to the AARP Foundation's recognition of the important work that we have provided to seniors in Southern Oregon.  2020 was a challenging time for all of us.  I am immensely appreciative of the culture of collaboration that our wonderful community has embraced during our wildfire disaster while working with the threat of COVID. 

Debra F. J. Lee, Executive Director

United Way of Lane County
We are thrilled to have received a very generous grant from AARP for $50,000 to support the wildfire response fund supporting recovery efforts in the McKenzie River Valley.  This unexpected support will help individuals and families impacted by the Holiday Farm Fire and for that, we are grateful!

Noreen J. Dunnells, President & CEO

“When a disaster strikes, few are more vulnerable than older adults. Through the work of these organizations, donations are helping those impacted to repair their homes, access legal advocacy, and obtain financial support,” said AARP Foundation President Lisa Marsh Ryerson. “The rebuilding and recovery process for seniors affected by  wildfires will be a long one. But this community-based support has set that process in motion for many seniors in need to recover and rebuild.”

To donate or learn more about AARP Foundation’s Relief Fund, visit

About AARP Foundation AARP Foundation works to end senior poverty by helping vulnerable older adults build economic opportunity and social connections. As AARP’s charitable affiliate, we serve AARP members and nonmembers alike. Bolstered by vigorous legal advocacy, we spark bold, innovative solutions that foster resilience, strengthen communities and restore hope. To learn more, visit or follow @AARPFoundation on social media.

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