CLIF to donate 100% of profits from one of their bars to 2nd responder fund

The first project will help build a new Butte Humane Society facility that will shelter and care for animals impacted by the Camp Fire in California.

I first learned about Clif Bars after discovering that a former coworker, Bruce Lymburn, was the company’s General Counsel. Bruce and I were members of the El Cariso Hot Shots back in the day.

Clif seems like an interesting place to work. Clif Bars are mostly made from organic ingredients, employees can bring their dogs to work, the company gives back to the community through the CLIF Bar Family Foundation, employees are encouraged to volunteer in the community on company time, and they can take two and a half hours of paid exercise each week with free personal training.

The San Francisco Bay Area company made the news the other day with the creation of the CLIF Second Responder Fund.

Most everyone knows what first responders are. They are the first to arrive at emergency scenes — the ones you see in the news — law enforcement, firefighters, and emergency medical personnel. Second responders are the ones that work during the recovery phase, which can last for days, weeks, or months. Examples include power companies, communication companies, hazardous waste cleanup, and services providing food, road clearing, security, first aid, crowd control, sanitation, temporary housing, and social services. The establishment of the CLIF Second Responder Fund will support some of the unmet needs of these second responder efforts.

Clif BarOne hundred percent of all net profits from the sale of Sierra Trail Mix CLIF BAR® Energy Bars will go toward establishing the fund for the long term. Clif Bar & Company has a long history of post-disaster work in communities, often serving as a “second responder” by volunteering, providing financial support and food donations.

The first project of the fund will provide $1.5 million to the community affected by the Camp Fire in Butte County, the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California history. This fund will help the community break ground on a new state-of-the-art Butte Humane Society facility that will shelter and care for animals impacted by the Camp Fire disaster, as well as serve as an emergency center for Northern California in the event of future disasters.

“The devastation created by these fires is unfathomable,” said Gary Erickson co-owner and co-CEO of Clif Bar & Company. “After the flames are extinguished and the camera crews leave, these communities are still desperate for help. This fund will help this community in our own backyard and other communities around the country for years to come.”

The fund was inspired by the work of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. owners Ken Grossman and Katie Gonser, whose community in Chico, California was among those devastated by the Camp Fire. Like Clif Bar, Sierra Nevada is also a family-owned business and the two families have been friends for years. When the fire was in its early stages, Erickson and his wife, Clif Bar & Company co-owner and co-CEO Kit Crawford, reached out to Grossman and Gonser to see how Clif Bar could help.

“When Gary and Kit called, we knew we needed help for our community’s animals. As we listened to the stories and responded to the needs of the community, we knew that help would still be needed long after the initial push of relief had waned,” said Gonser. “The devastation was enormous, with many local families distraught over the lack of care of displaced animals. This shows what two businesses can achieve by working together.” Grossman and Gonser have already donated the land for the new facility.

“Clif is a company full of animal lovers, with many employees bringing their dogs to work with them every day. Not only are animals amazing companions, they’re family,” added Kit Crawford, Co-Owner and Co-CEO of Clif Bar & Company. “We are proud to champion this initial effort and know that this fund will be ongoing to address other needs following national disasters around the country.”

It’s estimated that more than 20,000 animals were impacted by the Camp Fire. The Butte County Humane Society responded immediately, reuniting residents with their pets, providing thousands of pounds of pet food to people who were displaced, and caring for hundreds of injured pets. Through the experience, the staff learned each day and knew a new facility with an expanded mission was needed.

The new Butte Humane Society facility can serve as a centralized information headquarters for animal welfare groups in order to coordinate collective long-term recovery efforts and in preparation for disaster support throughout Northern California. Additionally, in collaboration with other first and second responder animal organizations, the new campus can be used as a crisis evacuation site during local and regional disasters. BHS hopes this will serve as a model for emergency preparedness and response around the country.

The new Sierra Trail Mix packaging will be rolled out nationally this summer in stores and online.

1972 El Cariso Hotshot crew
Part of the 1972 El Cariso Hotshot crew. Bruce Lymburn is at the end of the back row, on the left. Missing: Ron Campbell (superintendent) and Bill Gabbert (took the photo).

In 2007 and again in 2008 Senators Hillary Clinton and Peter King introduced the Skilled Trades Second Responders Act of 2008, which would have established a national program for the training, certification, registration, tracking, and integration of skilled construction workers to assist first responders in responding to disasters, including natural and manmade disasters and terrorist attacks. Both bills died in committee.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

6 thoughts on “CLIF to donate 100% of profits from one of their bars to 2nd responder fund”

  1. Was research actually done regarding which facilities actually helped the animals? Butte Humane Society is NOT the County shelter and they don’t take in strays from their own city… Exactly how many animals impacted by the fire were taken in and cared for there? … the Northwest SPCA is the County shelter that has always gone above and beyond to help out in disaster situations… not to mention Paradise has a shelter in great need of renovation… I find it hard to believe Clif Bar did any serious research… sons like they simply relied on their Sierra Nevada friends and Chico wins again… bummer.

  2. Great news. So many came forward to care for needs. I’d like to also recognize the The North Valley Animal group, who still maintain Camp Fire status on their website. Of all the donations I made, this was the one I considered most worthy

      1. I understand, Julie. But just to keep the facts straight, you can Google (“Butte Humane Paradise”) for an answer your question, Julie… Yes, they did. scroll down to Resources. They even included a link to NVADG and more. No matter what, Clif Bar’s generosity will help animals.

        1. Oh…I see they took in 27 cats on December 19th… over a month after the disaster… 27 cats… It’s just a shame that the entities that actually did help DURING the disaster with a much larger response …which is the reason behind the donation, are not being recognized… I did not see Butte County Animal Control or the Northwest SPCA mentioned either. NWSPCA serves the entire county and helps 1000’s more animals, that’s a fact!! … It’s simply ‘who ya know’ in this situation. I believe Clif Bar failed to research which animal services truly helped the community in need.

  3. Thank you Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. and CLIF Bars for this wonderful project, and your vision to help residents and animals of the Paradise Fire, now and for years to come.

    Some Legislator or two need to revise and sponsor the failed 2008 Skilled Trades Second Responders Act, as I imagine the need is more evident today even tho it was then, to garner more support and passage today.


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