By Published: Jan. 6, 2022

In times of crisis, we unite.

In the wake of last week’s devastating wildfire, we are called upon to help and support more than 700 employees and more than 600 students who lived in the evacuation zones, some of whom saw their homes completely destroyed by the fire.

The university has compiled a helpful guide of available resources, including the recommendation that you donate money not goods, for those whose homes were lost and need help, those who are still displaced from their homes due to smoke damage and lack of utilities, and all who might want to speak with a professional.

The desire to help runs deep in our community. All of us can help via Buffs Together, where you can support the campus-based and tax-deductible emergency funds for students, staff and faculty. You can also find guidance from “Nine ways to support a friend or colleague who lost their home to a fire.” I urge you to do what you can. The campus and college will highlight volunteer opportunities as they arise.

As campus leadership noted this week, the chancellor has authorized up to 160 hours of paid emergency administrative leave for employees affected by the fire who need the time for recovery efforts. Employees in the College of Arts and Sciences should contact Bernadette Stewart, assistant dean of administration, with questions or concerns.

Together, we are strong. After more than a year of adversity upon adversity, I know that many of us are just mentally exhausted. Please take time to focus on yourself even as you help your fellow Buffs. We will need all of us supporting each other to get through this. And we will.