Kaiser Permanente Sponsors Rise Up Project, Connects Community Devastated by Wildfire

Sometimes a fence doesn’t divide a community but instead brings it together. Such is the case with the Rise Up Project.

In October 2017, Larkfield Estates and Mark West Estates were among the areas devastated by wildfire. The neighborhoods needed help building about one mile of common perimeter fencing near where about 360 homes were lost. They approached the Rebuild NorthBay Foundation, which partnered with Habitat for Humanity on the Rise Up Project.

“We can leap ahead regionally, but it actually takes a lot of collaboration and a lot of willingness to say yes,” says Jennifer Gray Thompson, Rebuild NorthBay Foundation executive director.

Kaiser Permanente is one of Rise Up’s four major sponsors – donating $61,000 for the project – along with Sonoma Clean Power, JPMorgan Chase, and Friedman’s Home Improvement. More than a dozen other local businesses also support the project.

Volunteers, too, have been vital to Rise Up’s success. Last month, members of the community came together to make rails, saw lumber, and complete additional lattice and fence work.

Thompson said that while the devastation of the fires was unprecedented, this project is another example of how a community can come together. In times of crisis, “we turn toward each other,” she said.