Although California will never be the same as it once was before the two wildfires simultaneously surged through different ends of the state – raging against acres, homes, structures, wildlife, and people – hope springs eternal. Californians are resilient, compassionate people of action. As quickly as the fires rushed through the land — destroying everything in their path, Californians rushed to provide aid during the devastation. Since the upheaval of thousands of lives directly and indirectly affected by these wildfires, fellow Californians continue to show their steadfast optimism and faith that they can and will rebuild, renew, and restore. Here are some of the many ways we can continue to help the families, businesses, homes, and rescuers affected by these fires:
Donate Funds, Time or Food
You can donate on the American Red Cross website. From $10 to $1000+, you can donate whatever amount you want and to whichever particular cause you want, including having your donation go to Your Local Red Cross, Disaster Relief, Where it is Needed Most, or Home Fires. You can also donate to the Salvation Army. Up to this point, they have received a lot canned goods and clothes, so cash donations are needed now. Support the Northern California Chapter of the United Way. The donation you give to this organization will be used to provide emergency cash and other emergency assistance to those who lost their homes in the Camp fire in Northern California. There is a Global Giving California Wildlife Relief Fund that is accepting financial donations as well. The funds are being used to help the first responders distribute daily needs items and to provide shelter for those who lost their homes. If you want to donate super close to home, consider donating to the Los Angeles Fire Department. Funds donated to this foundation help to purchase fire equipment, supplies, training, and outreach initiatives. Before you donate more canned goods or various clothes that may or may not be immediately needed at this time, go to a shelter and ask the workers what is needed and how you can help. Simply by showing up and being ready, willing, and able to lend a hand right there and then
Donate Your Professional Services
Are you a baker? A massage therapist? A seamstress? A carpenter? A cook? A plumber? A fitness instructor? A singer? Whatever particular talent, skill, or gift you have, you can find a way to use it to contribute to helping the evacuees and rescuers. You can go to shelters and bring your baked goods, share your time and saxophone-playing skills to fill a room with the universal language of music. Whatever particular skill or knowledge you have, surely you can find a way to share it with those in need.
Support the Baby2Baby Registry
Baby2Baby is an organization that provides diapers and clothing for children in low-income families. Since the wildfires, they launched a specific registry to make it super easy for those who want to help the children. Currently there are still over 400 items listed on the registry that haven’t been purchased yet.
Lend Your House
Many folks who have an extra room in their homes are connecting with AirBnB to advertise space to host to those who have lost their homes. It’s amazing how the comfort of a safe home, comfortable bed, hot shower, and delicious meal can help to renew hope and faith in those who have been through a lot and lost so much.