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49ers begin work to help Butte County communities devastated by wildfires

It’s been a brutal week in California, as wildfires have been raging around the state. In northern California, Butte County continues to deal with the Camp Fire, which destroyed the town of Paradise, and firefighters continue to try and contain.

The fire has impacted people across the state, including those connected to the San Francisco 49ers. The team’s assistant strength coach Shane Wallen saw his family’s home burned down in Paradise, and the mother of beat writer Matt Maiocco lost her home as well. Additionally, 49ers Hub writer Jay Moore and his family lost their home and all their possessions.

The 49ers organization is stepping up amidst the devastation. The team named the North Valley Community Foundation as the recipient of proceeds from it’s 50/50 Raffle during tonight’s Monday Night Football game against the New York Giants. The 50/50 raffle has half the net proceeds for the game-day raffle go to the winning ticket-holder and half the net proceeds go to a different charity each week. The 49ers announced they will provide a dollar for dollar match for the contributions raised by fans during the game.

Additionally, six players will donate autographed, game-worn jerseys from tonight’s game to be auctioned off. When the link to bid is live, I’ll drop it in here.

The 49ers are conducting an internal employee collection drive for essential items to support the community, and, “will continue to monitor the situation in Butte County and surrounding areas during this devastating time, and are prepared to take further action as more specific needs on the ground emerge.”

Finally, the 49ers also invited out the Paradise High School football team for tonight’s game. Many of the players lost their homes in the fires, and were forced to forfeit their playoff game last week.

The team said these are “initial plans,” so I imagine there will be more coming from the organization in the days and weeks ahead. Personally, I would love to see all the owners of California major league sports teams making donations independent of these kinds of things. What the 49ers are doing tonight is important and will raise much needed money, but considering the kind of wealth in California, particularly in Silicon Valley, we need to see more people stepping up to help these devastated communities.