Harsch Investment Properties, a large Portland real estate firm that owns and operates more than 100 commercial properties in the metro area, has donated $250,000 to relief efforts for those affected by the Oregon wildfires.
The money is earmarked for the new Jordan Schnitzer Emergency Relief Fund — named for Harsch’s president, the billionaire businessman and philanthropist who has also lent his name to other institutions, such as the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at Portland State University.
It will be distributed in the form of emergency grants to individuals, couples or families who reside in Estacada or Molalla and have been displaced or have basic needs because of the wildfires and related smoke, the company said in a press release late last month.
Funds were to be distributed through Volunteers of America Oregon‘s Whispering Pines Independent Living Facility in Estacada, which serves seniors and their family members, Harsch said.
Whispering Pines has been part of the Estacada community since 2003, serving seniors and their families in its 62-room facility.
The application process is simple and may be done online at voaor.org/wildfire.
“All of us in Oregon and across the country are feeling such anguish for the hundreds of Oregonians who have lost so much in the wildfires we have recently experienced in our beloved state,” said Schnitzer, who also is president of the Harold & Arlene Schnitzer CARE Foundation.
“One can only imagine what it is like to run out of your house with what you are able to carry in your arms, knowing that all of your family pictures, mementos, and decades of objects that carry meaning, can be lost.”
While those items can’t be replaced, Schnitzer admitted, Harsch and the CARE Foundation wanted to reach out, “both financially and in spirit, to help them rebuild their lives.”
Kay Toran, VOA Oregon’s chief executive, expressed gratitude to Schnitzer and Harsch’s employees.
“The opportunity to provide critical relief to families that have experienced such devastation over the last few weeks is so rewarding,” she said. “We continue to feel deep gratitude for the generosity of those who have the capacity to help and do!”