Companies Step Up in Wake of San Bruno Disaster

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP
    Alex Montoya carries shoes, clothes, and blankets after he was told to leave his home following an explosion in San Bruno, Calif., Thursday, Sept. 9, 2010. Several homes were destroyed as a massive fire roared through a mostly residential neighborhood in San Bruno. (AP Photo/Mike Adaskaveg)

    The American Red Cross has closed two shelters that housed displaced San Bruno residents after Thursday's catastrophic gas pipeline, but the organization is still using money donated by corporations, local foundations and individuals to help hundreds of affected residents.

    Volunteers from the Red Cross Bay Area Chapter placed all of the remaining displaced residents in hotel rooms on Friday night, a Red Cross spokeswoman said.

    That allowed the organization to shutter its shelters at the Veterans Memorial Recreation Center on City Park Way and the Church of the Highlands on Monterey Drive.

    In addition to providing shelter, the Red Cross set up the victims with long-term counseling to help them plan a recovery from their devastating losses, organization officials said. The Red Cross has also been preparing to distribute snacks, drinks and cleaning kits to residents as some begin the process of moving back home.

    Some of the contributing parties the Red Cross acknowledged in its statement were U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier, California Casualty Insurance, Gap, Inc., the Salvation Army, and the Tzu Chi Foundation.

    County social service agencies and community foundations also helped, with the San Francisco Foundation and the Silicon Valley Community Foundation both setting up relief funds to funnel money to the Red Cross' efforts. The organization also received funding from big-name corporations, some of which are based in the Bay Area.

    Ground Video: Inside the Explosion Zone

    [BAY] Ground Video: Inside the Explosion Zone
    Our cameras were allowed into the hot zone 24 hours after a PG&E pipe exploded destroying many lives and homes. (Published Sunday, Sep 12, 2010)

    San Francisco-based Wells Fargo and Levi Strauss&Co. donated a combined $75,000 to the Red Cross and the jeans company also donated $250 gift cards to the victims to help them get new clothes. The Safeway Foundation donated $25,000 and provided grocery cards to displaced residents.

    AT&T and Verizon Wireless both made cell phones, cell battery chargers and Internet access available to displaced residents in shelters, and Verizon donated $10,000 to the local Red Cross chapter, according to a statement from the company.

    Sutter Health donated $100,000 to the Red Cross on Friday, and its affiliate California Pacific Medical Center gave an additional $50,000.

    Sutter Health's Mills-Peninsula Health Services is located just six miles from the site of the explosion.

    About 10 people were treated at Mills-Peninsula for minor injuries, but none of those injuries were caused by the fire, Sutter Health officials said. Others were treated at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco.

    Anyone interested in donating to the Red Cross should call 888-443-5722 or visit the website.