Facebook and Google Pledge Donations to Help Wine Country Fires
Combined, the two tech giants have offered up $1.5 million in aid to help those devastated by the fires on the opposite end of the Bay Area.
Geographically, California's wine industry and tech industry are extremely intertwined. Silicon Valley's location on the south side of the San Francisco Bay Area puts it right in the middle of the amazing stretch of wine regions from the Central Coast all the way up to Sonoma and Napa north of the bay. So though the fires devastating other parts of the region might not be directly affecting areas like Menlo Park and Mountain View, home to Facebook and Google respectively, the ongoing disaster does effect these companies' larger communities, so both tech giants have pledged their financial support to help.
Yesterday, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced a $1 million donation to support local organizations involved in the relief effort. Meanwhile, Google said it would contribute $500,000 through its charitable arm, Google.org, and through employee donations as well.
Zuckerberg took to, of course, Facebook to make his announcement. "I'm thinking of everyone affected by the wildfires in California," he posted on the social media site. "In the past day, communities have activated Safety Check for 14 different fires, and we're seeing people offer food, shelter and transportation through Community Help. Facebook is also donating $1 million to local organizations to help rebuild. I'm thinking of all our neighbors in harm's way and I hope everyone stays safe." According to the SFGate, where precisely the donation will go is still undetermined, however, a spokesman told the website that Facebook is "currently working to identify the best organizations who can absorb the money and use it for relief, recovery and rebuilding."
Meanwhile, Google.org has yet to make any official announcement on the Google.org blog. (As a reminder of just how tough a year it's been, the most recent post is still about "providing support to those affected by Hurricane Maria.) However, the SFGate says that the half-million dollar donation is part of Google's ongoing effort to help support those affected by the fires which has also included the company's Crisis Response Team launching an alert about the fires and a crisis map that shows road closures and shelter location.