Aaron Rodgers and State Farm are tackling the needs of families and communities in the aftermath of California's deadliest wildfire on record.
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers was born and raised in northern California's Butte County, where the recent Camp Fire devastated thousands.
To date, that wildfire — the deadliest and most destructive in California history — has killed at least 85 people, destroyed 14,000 residences and ravaged 153,000 acres in Butte County alone. The entire town of Paradise, a town of 26,000 people 15 miles from Rodgers' hometown of Chico, burned to the ground. While the fire is now 100% contained, the daunting work of cleaning up, rebuilding and recovering emotionally and physically from the blaze is just beginning.
Bird's Eye view of Butte County during the Camp Fire. Photo by NASA/Wikipedia.
So Rodgers posted a video to Twitter on November 21 to express support for the victims and send out a fundraising call. "I personally reached out to my friends and the mayor of Chico to find out how to be of the most help," Rodgers says in the video, "And raising money for both the immediate needs and the long term recovery is what's needed most right now."
Rodgers also donated $1 million of his own money to help the recovery and rebuild efforts in partnership with Northern Valley Community Foundation.
In response, State Farm's social responsibility program, Neighborhood of Good, pledged to donate $1 for every retweet of Rodgers' video and mention of #Retweet4Good, up to $1 million.
As a longtime partner of Rodgers, State Farm was inspired by his willingness to offer support in this way, and were compelled to meet his altruism.
State Farm has a rich history of community involvement and being a good neighbor. The company's Neighborhood of Good program helps people "turn caring into doing" by identifying local opportunities where people can give back. This call to action seemed like the perfect way to propel that mission forward.
In just 9 days, Rodgers' tweet was viewed over 8.3 million times, and the initiative raised $365,000 for wildfire relief and recovery.
Although the retweets didn’t reach 1 million, State Farm Neighborhood of Good decided to up the donation to a full $1 million.
A follow-up video on November 23 with the same #retweet4good hashtag received an additional million-plus views and 22,000+ retweets.
But the generosity didn't stop there. These philanthropic endeavors inspired other big businesses to give back well. Walmart also decided to donate $1 million to the Camp Fire recovery efforts after seeing the response to Rodgers' tweet.
Whether they're celebrities, heads of companies or everyday individuals, when people work together, they can do incredible things.
Most of us want to help make a difference in our communities, but we don't always know where to start. Neighborhood of Good helps bridge that gap by making it simple to find local needs and inspire people to take action for causes they care about.
The need in the wake of California's deadly wildfires is great, but people in this country have proven time and time again that they are willing and able to step up and meet that need. It doesn't have to take a huge amount of effort to do so — lots of small actions, like a simple retweet, can make a big impact.
If you'd like to donate to Aaron Rodgers' wildfire fund, go to his fundraising page on the North Valley Community Foundation website. And if you'd like to learn more about how to volunteer in your local area, check out NeighborhoodofGood.com.