Every year, VTech organizes an employee charity raffle dedicated to benefiting children in our surrounding communities. Since 2011, VTech employees have donated over $635,000 to charitable organizations across the country with an emphasis on children. In 2020, VTech communications devoted these efforts to the students of the Santiam Canyon.
Just after Labor Day, wildfires ravaged the Santiam Canyon and surrounding areas. The Santiam Canyon school district, illustrated in blue, was directly in the fire’s path. In one night, the fires destroyed the communities of Gates, Detroit, and parts of Mill City, which are three of the four communities served by the Santiam Canyon school district. Approximately 70 of the 315 students enrolled in the Junior/Senior High School lost their homes and everything they owned overnight.
With dozens of employees in evacuation zones during the fires, this effort proved deeply personal for our Tigard, Oregon Headquarters. Our VTech family around the country rallied to help offset the unfathomable losses however much they could. In the end, we proudly presented the school with $30,000 along with donations in kind, including new and gently used clothing as well as phones and baby monitors.
Nearly six months after the fire, these families continue to grapple with profound loss. Many of the students that attend this school live in rural neighborhoods, and, unfortunately, many families did not have home or renters insurance at the time of the fires. Those who did, report that their insurance companies denied them coverage citing that the fire did not originate on their property. These families are working to replace basic necessities. Our donation is earmarked for the students and their families to replace personal items, so hopefully, they might return to leading a normal life more quickly.
If you are interested in learning more or contributing in any way, please contact the Santiam Canyon School District: http://santiam.k12.or.us/contact/