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Boise Cascade will match $100,000 in donations for fire, COVID-19 aid

Boise Cascade will match up to $100,000 in donations made to help Rogue Valley residents struggling in the aftermath of devastating fires and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The matching offer from the wood products and building materials company will double the value of money donated to the local services provider ACCESS.

“A matching gift of this magnitude will make such a difference in the lives of our most vulnerable neighbors. Over the past week, ACCESS has received more than 200 calls per day from those impacted by the fire who are in need of food and housing assistance. Boise Cascade’s generosity will help us meet that need, and we hope it will inspire others to do the same,” said Kellie Battaglia, development director for ACCESS.

More than 2,600 residential properties and more than 180 business properties were damaged or destroyed by the Almeda fire, according to John Vial, director of the Jackson County Emergency Operations Center.

Talent and Phoenix suffered the worst home and business losses from the fire that started Sept. 8 in Ashland and burned from north Ashland to south Medford.

Donations will help Jackson County residents recover and move forward from the impacts of local fires and the health and economic impacts of COVID-19, ACCESS said.

“The recent fires have had a devastating impact on so many people. When you combine the impact of COVID-19, there is a heightened need to help our community,” said R. J. Glover, region manager for Boise Cascade Wood Products.

Glover said the company and its employees hope the matching gift will inspire other individuals and businesses to donate.

“We know by partnering with ACCESS, our donation will stay local and help our community move forward,” he said.

Boise Cascade has been one of ACCESS’ most dedicated supporters for more than three decades, said ACCESS Board of Directors President J.R. Wheeler.

“This gift will make such a difference in our community,” he said.

Since 1976, ACCESS has been Jackson County’s Community Action Agency and regional food bank. In 2019, ACCESS served more than 52,000 people — or one-in-four Jackson County residents.

The agency has seen a surge in need in 2020 from the pandemic and fires.

The South Obenchain fire in northern Jackson County has burned more than 153 structures that range from houses to barns.

To donate to ACCESS, visit www.accesshelps.org/donate or call 541-779-6691.

Reach Mail Tribune reporter Vickie Aldous at valdous@rosebudmedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @VickieAldous.

The Almeda fire left behind charred remnants of neighborhoods in Phoenix and Talent. Vickie Aldous/Mail Tribune