As thousands of acres continue to burn in Northern California and in Southern California, many are facing the reality that their homes are gone. As firefighters work tirelessly to combat the flames and search for victims, many around the country are wondering how they can help.
The number one thing that fire first responders are asking people NOT to do is to send physical donations, like food or supplies. As the Los Angeles Fire Department detailed on their Facebook page, the LAFD is not prepared to receive large donations of perishable food or water at their stations.
“We're touched to the point of tears by your kindness, but truly are not in need of anything more than a wave or a smile,” they continued on Facebook.
However, many are unsatisfied with idly standing by as observed by Monday’s trending Google search for “How to help firefighters?”
Many organizations are springing to action with the reports of devastation and are providing resources to assist firefighters. If you’d like to help the cause, here are a few organizations collecting much-needed donations.
Ventura County Community Foundation
The VCCF has set up a Sudden and Urgent Needs Fund (SUNF) for the Hill and Woolsey fires in response to the recent breakouts in Ventura County. It’s designed to create a source for rapid funding and support nonprofit organizations that are helping those affected by the wildfires. You can click here to donate or visit their Facebook page to find additional information.
United Way of Greater Los Angeles
In partnership with the United Way of Ventura County, the United Way of Greater Los Angeles has created a disaster relief fund to serve low-income community and working individuals. Their mission is to meet long-term needs and help those affected by the wildfire reestablish their lives. You can click here to donate or text “UWVC” to 41444.
United Way of NorCal
The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army is also receiving donations as they work on-site to provide meal services, long-term recovery effort, evacuation shelter assistance, and much more.
Humane Society of Ventura County
The Humane Society of Ventura County is collecting donations to help evacuated animals from the Hill and Woolsey fires that are currently being housed at shelters. You can contribute to their cause by buying supplies through their Amazon Wish List or you can make donations through the Network for Good to help a specific animal in need. If you’d like to make a general donation, click here.
A former Paradise resident has created a GoFundMe page to collect donations for Camp Fire victims. The page's creator, Grant Kerber, says he's compiling a list of organizations to send the money but is also open to suggested funds that are focused on the towns of Paradise and Magalia.
GoFundMe spokeswoman Katherine Cichy said that the company will ensure the money will be distributed to the right people, according to the Los Angeles Times.
To help contribute to the page's $50,000 goal, click here.
Enloe Medical Center
The Enloe Medical Center is accepting donations to provide relief to patients and families through their Camp Fire Relief Fund. The fund will also help caregivers who lost their homes or have been displaced. To donate online click here or you can text "CampFireRelief" to 91999.
Support the LAFD
The city’s fire department also asked the public to the donate to the Widows, Orphans & Disables Firemen’s Fund, which helps the families of firefighters injured or killed in the line of duty. They’re also taking donations through the Fire Family Foundation, which is a part of the Firefighters First Credit Union.