Aaron Rodgers donating $1 million for California wildfire victims

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Aaron Rodgers wore a Santa Monica Fire Department hat after the Green Bay Packers' Nov. 11 win over the Miami Dolphins to show support for those impacted by the California fires.

Ten days later, the Packers quarterback announced he's donating $1 million to help those in his home state.

"In Northern California, where I was born and raised, the city of Paradise burned to the ground, and many of the residents who got out are now displaced to my hometown of Chico and across the north state," Rodgers said in a video posted on his Twitter account. "I personally reached out to my friends and the mayor of Chico to find out how to be of the most help. And raising money for both immediate needs and the long-term recovery is what is needed most right now."

Rodgers also said one of his longtime corporate partners, State Farm, will donate $1 for every retweet of his post (up to $1 million) through Sunday using the hashtag #retweet4good.

In addition, Rodgers said the Packers have pledged $250,000.

"It's to raise a greater awareness," Rodgers said Wednesday during his weekly news conference. "There's an out-of-sight, out-of-mind element that happens with a lot of people. It's big news in the beginning and then slowly it fades away as far as the fire's contained and you're starting to pick up the pieces. But just to get people to realize -- this is something that I've said a couple times already -- it's a long process. The recovery process is months, it's years of putting the pieces back together. I just wanted that to be on people's minds and know that we need money and support and people thinking about those folks up there who are affected. A lot of folks have been displaced, folks from Chico are coming back now, a lot of folks stayed and have been volunteering at the hospitals and shelters. There's a lot of great people involved in this and this is just my way of doing it, and I wanted to use my platform to raise awareness that this is a need that's going to be ongoing -- long after the cameras and FEMA are gone."

Rodgers grew up in Chico, California, and attended Butte College and the University of California.

"If you live in Chico, you know somebody who lives in Paradise, or you've played sports up there, driven up the skyway," Rodgers said. "Hearing the stories about it being, almost like a war zone -- people running out of their cars down the skyway, people having to bring big backhoes in to move the cars of people who had already left, so the cars still blocked in traffic can try to get around it. The terribly sad stories of finding people burned alive in their cars. This is a disaster. This is a major tragedy that's happened to those great people up in Paradise. I'm connected, that's where I was born, I grew up there, I know people who had family houses up in Paradise or retired folks. So when you're from there you're very well connected to that area."

Said Packers coach Mike McCarthy: "I think it's tremendous what Aaron Rodgers is doing. As I've always stated, and really for all of our players, he's so much more than just our quarterback. I know the Camp Fire has been constantly on his mind. We talk about it pretty much every day, and I think what he's doing in using this platform is tremendous. I'm proud of all of our guys when they step up like that."