LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – California Strong continues to raise significant funds for the victims of the Woolsey Fire, and in the first round of distributing donations, the organization doled out $1 million to local families hit the hardest.
The amount of money the victims received was based on need, but most took home thousands of dollars.
People who lost their homes in the Woolsey Fire showed gratitude to a few hometown athletes who gave back.
“We all grew up in these communities, we all saw what happened, we’re all affected by it,” said Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich.
Yelich and his fellow Milwaukee Brewer teammates are from the areas affected by the Woolsey fire. Together, they created California Strong and raised $1 million and counting for families who lost their homes.
About 150 families picked up their checks Friday.
“I think it’s just outrageous that they put this together for us, and it’s so helpful,” said Marlene Gozzi.
The 97,000-acre Woolsey Fire broke out south of Simi Valley on Nov. 8. It then jumped the south side of the 101 Freeway near Calabasas and spread into Malibu. The fire destroyed more than 1,500 structures and was responsible for three deaths.
“This is amazing. This truly is going to be helping us and helping a lot of people,” Bracken Webb said.
Bracken and Crosby Webb have three young children. CBSLA followed the family to where their home once stood.
“It’s always so hard coming back here,” Bracken Webb said.
The couple lived in the home for 10 years and it was the only home their three children have known.
They say they evacuated in the middle of the night three months ago, never imagining they would lose everything.
“Emotionally, it’s kind of weird to receive help. We obviously need it. Super grateful for everything,” said Crosby Webb.
The Woolsey Fire raged on for nearly three weeks before it was fully contained on Nov. 21.
“I saw people from our community here also there picking up checks, so you see where the money is going,” Bracken Webb said. “Seeing young athletes that my boys look up to spread kindness and create this organization, huge example for the kids.
The $1 million in donations will be split with the victims of the Camp Fire in Northern California. More than 280 families in the Paradise area will receive a check. An estimated $7 billion in losses were caused by the blaze, which burned 153,336 acres, destroyed 18,793 structures and killed 85 people.