SAVE Testimonials

CLICK HERE to see media coverage of the SAVE Program.

CLICK HERE to see social media mentions of the SAVE Program.

CLICK HERE to see photos of SAVE Card recipients.

CLICK HERE to see how SAVE has aided with CA Wildfire/Widescale Disaster Relief

Kimberly, her son Braxton, and their dog Remy were evacuated during the Carr Fire in Redding in July 2018, but they received a SAVE card at Redding Station 4 and sent this letter of thanks. “Thank you, Captain Jerry. You guys did more than just give a gift card today. You showed love and kindness to Braxton, Remy and I and we’ll never forget it. And you guys may have just inspired my little guy to become a fireman later in life. If he grows up to be that kind of hero, that would be fine by me! Thank you guys again. God bless you!”

During the Creek Fire in December 2017, Curtis Brown lost him home. He escaped with his life with just minutes to spare as he drove through fire to get out. “Getting [a SAVE card] from the Fire Department was definitely a surprise. As if risking their safety to try to save our stuff wasn’t enough, they come through with this! And from the only other people who understand how hairy it was in there, that’s pretty awesome!”

“We are blessed to be surrounded by such a loving community, near and far. Thank you for being a part of the outpouring of support. We are learning so much about kindness, generosity, and resiliency.” Chris, Nicolle and Marlo Bertozzi SAVE Card recipients, Santa Rosa.

During the Lilac Fire, Les and Marsha Higby lost their home. They are proud to know their grandson, who is a firefighter, is saving homes and lives and “so appreciate the dedication and heart of our tireless firefighters.”

“We lost our home in the Lilac Fire (in San Diego County) and not because of lack of effort/response time from the firefighters. They were amazing, and so many of them there so fast. We had less than 5 minutes to evacuate.  I counted 9 more engines pulling in as I was leaving – and that’s not counting the others that were already there. It was because of their quick response and coordination with the sheriff that I am still alive. Never in a million years after all you –the firefighters- had already done, [did I] imagine that you’d be there after it all, helping again with even more emergency aid in the form of a gift card. That was such an unexpected surprise and appreciated beyond words. I will never forget it. Thank you so much!” Lenora Mahin, SAVE Card recipient.

“We are overwhelmed by the outpouring of generous support and compassion from so many!  Your gift is most definitely part of the network of support upon which we will depend as we embark upon this long and difficult journey to rebuild after the Nor Cal wild fires. We also want to express our gratitude to all of the first responders who worked so tirelessly to help us fight this fire. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you!” Susan and Steve Crotty, SAVE Card recipients, Santa Rosa.

“Thank you for hand delivering the $100 gift card. We lost our home that my uncle built us 56 years ago. We lost everything but the clothes on our back and our dog and cat. We lost all the pictures of our son that passed away when he was 9 years old. We are hoping some family members have some. Everyone has been so nice to us. We have much to be thankful for.” The Alkires, SAVE Card recipients, Santa Rosa.

While sifting through the remains of her home, Teresa Philbin, SAVE Card recipient, Santa Rosa, was approached by a firefighter offering a SAVE card. “It struck me as extraordinary for firefighters to be giving back to people in communities who owe them so much for their efforts, not the other way around. Thanks for your generosity; it’s greatly appreciated.”

During October 2017, the Perry Family lost their home and all of their belongings in the Nuns Fire. “It is gut-wrenching to lose everything we have worked hard for over the course of our lives. We are getting through this by relying on the kindness and generosity of friends, family and strangers alike. Thank you so much for the $100.00 gift card. We really appreciate it and will put it to very good use.” Elysa, Michael and Samantha Perry, SAVE Card recipients.

“As a fire district, one of our core values is trying to help people in their time of need whenever and however we can. The SAVE Program allows us to provide help to our residents that are impacted by a substantial incident,” said Fire Chief Brian Helmick, East Contra Costa Fire Protection District. “We are proud to now be participating in this valuable program that enhances the services we provide to our community after an incident.”

“We are so grateful for everything you guys [Los Angeles Fire Department] have done for us.” – Maria Rodriguez, SAVE card recipient on Thanksgiving Day 2015

On December 23, 2015, the Los Angeles Fire Department responded to call to find a small one-story house engulfed in flames. An electrical cord overload or malfunction sparked the non-injury blaze, and the family of four was able to escape the fast-moving flames moments before the Fire Department arrived. The house was a total loss after the fire and the family lost all of their possessions. Due to the severity of the blaze, Chief Fortman with LAFD provided the displaced family with immediate monetary aid via the California Fire Foundation’s SAVE Program to help them in the aftermath of the fire.

After their Pasadena home was destroyed in fire, Mike and Debbie DeVore used their SAVE card to help purchase groceries. They were able to temporarily stay at a friend’s home, and the SAVE card helped them get back on their feet. “We want to thank you for reaching out to us with the SAVE credit card gift. We plan to use it for groceries as someone has allowed us to stay at their home…The SAVE card truly is a blessing to us and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.” – Mike and Debbie DeVore, SAVE Card Recipients, Pasadena

During January 2016, a family of four was displaced in North Hollywood after their home and attic became well involved in flames. Firefighters were able to resuscitate the family’s cat, but they unfortunately lost their dog in the blaze. The family was issued a SAVE Card to help them recover in the aftermath of the incident.

Seven residents were displaced by a house fire in South Los Angeles on January 17, 2016. Firefighters arrived on the scene to encounter a one-story house engulfed in flames and smoke which they were able to extinguish in 23 minutes. Thankfully all seven residents escaped and only one person was treated for minor smoke inhalation. The home suffered significant damage and the family was given a SAVE card to provide immediate assistance.

A massive fire broke out on April 29, 2016 in Koreatown and quickly spread to nearby homes. Firefighters arrived to see a two-story Craftsman home well involved with flames and a collapsed roof. Fire companies prevented any injuries and saved a small dog that was found in the backyard of one of the damaged homes. Thankfully the dog was given a clean bill of health and crews prevented further damage to the neighboring homes. The incident displaced 19 people and the LAFD provided SAVE cards to the two families impacted by the fire.

A fire that broke November 6, 2014 in a home near downtown Santa Barbara left the residents homeless, according to the Santa Barbara City Fire Department. A male resident was provided with financial assistance through the Supplying Aid to Victims of Emergency program, which the Fire Department just joined.

On Christmas Day 2013, Caroline Reimers experienced a devastating garage fire in her Sacramento home that took the lives of her elderly father and two parrots. Receiving a SAVE Card “helped [her] heart,” as was very important to her as it meant that somebody out there cared for her.

“It’s one of those things you think ‘My God, what are we going to do, what’s going to happen?’ You never image leaving your home and never coming back. We weren’t even thinking about ‘Well what do we do?’ At that point we were just numb standing there, we had two garbage bags and no place to go. They did their job, they stopped the fire, they didn’t really have to do much more but they just really went above and beyond what they needed to do.” – Erika Crooks, SAVE Card recipient.

“We had a structure fire at a single family dwelling which received about 50% damage and displaced a family of five including a special needs child. We extended a SAVE card to the family the night of the incident, the next morning I ran into the family back at the scene. They were very thankful for the SAVE card as the whole family was able to have dinner the night before, they explained that they had sent in their house and car payments and money was tight and with the help of the SAVE card they were able to have a meal in spite of their situation. It definitely made my day to be able to share the program with them and thankful for the CFF’s SAVE program. ” – Cedric Cesena, City of El Centro Fire Department Battalion Chief

 “It’s a great program. We’re proud to be able to do it. Every time you have a fire, it’s a tragedy (so) I think it’s a nice gesture (and) I think it will go a long way to help.” – Harold Schapelhouman, Menlo Park Fire Protection District Fire Chief. 

“The SAVE program allows first responders to basically put their arm around the shoulder of victims of fire and natural disasters to get through the worst times of their lives.”- Mike DuRee, Long Beach Fire Chief.

“SAVE lets us provide aid immediately, so folks can get a hot meal, buy some clothes or maybe find a place to stay at night.” – Gaudenz Panholzer, Monterey City Fire Chief.

A handful of people were displaced from their homes on Thanksgiving Day 2015 after a fire erupted at a three-story condo complex. The Long Beach Fire Department handed out gift cards to families whose homes sustained at least 25% damage.  “It allows the Fire Department to put an arm around them and say, ‘Here’s a small something to help you immediately.'” – Jake Helfin, spokesman for Long Beach Fire Department.

“A lot of times, people are woken up in the middle of the night, they only have time to grab their kids and their pets. The money can help with the essentials on the worst day of their lives.” – Long Beach Fire Capt. Matt Dobberpuhl

“The California Fire Foundation does a lot for our firefighter families and the communities we protect. We’re excited to work with the Foundation and with our department to offer a little help to fire victims.” –Anaheim Fire and Rescue Captain/Paramedic Bob McClellan

“We’ve all been in those situations where a family is standing outside in a daze as their lives go up in flames. We can’t restore all they’ve lost, but a SAVE card can help them through those first difficult 24 hours, and maybe help them feel a little less lost and alone.” – Chris Mahon, president of Ventura County Professional Firefighters Association Local 1364

“This is truly a great endeavor to further aid and comfort our residents that are impacted by disasters,” Brad Dover, President, Monrovia Firefighters, Local #2415