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How to Help Victims of the California Wildfires

New York Times September 19, 2020


How to Help Victims of the California Wildfires

There are a number of ways to help, including donating to relief organizations and signing up to host displaced community members.

Record-setting wildfires in California have leveled entire communities and displaced thousands of residents. As the fires continue to burn, relief organizations are on the ground providing support for victims and emergency workers.

For those looking to help people affected by the wildfires, we’ve compiled a list of organizations operating in the state. Remember, unsolicited donations of items like food can actually overwhelm relief organizations, so it’s best to check what is needed before giving.

For a comprehensive list, California’s Office of Emergency Services has also partnered with Philanthropy California to maintain a vetted list of relief funds where you can safely donate cash. You can also consult Guide Star or Charity Navigator for a list of trustworthy organizations that are working to provide aid to wildfire victims.

  • The Red Cross is providing food, shelter and relief supplies to people affected by fires. You can make a one-time contribution here or sign up to be a volunteer.

  • Baby2Baby is distributing essential items like diapers, wipes, portable cribs, blankets and cleaning supplies to families affected by the fires. You can buy supplies directly off its Amazon registry here or make a cash donation.

  • The California Community Foundation’s Wildfire Relief Fund supports relief and recovery efforts for communities affected by wildfires. You can donate directly to its wildfire fund here.

  • The California Fire Foundation provides immediate short-term relief to victims by handing out $250 gift cards so that people can buy basic necessities that were lost in fires. You can donate here.

  • The Latino Community Foundation provides support for Latino-led organizations that are helping Latino and immigrant families who have been displaced by fires throughout the state. You can donate here.

  • Open Homes by Airbnb matches hosts with disaster victims and relief workers in need of a safe place to stay. You can sign up here to provide a free space.

  • World Central Kitchen’s relief team is providing meals to emergency workers and people affected by wildfires in Northern California. You can make a single or monthly contribution here.

  • Red Rover shelters and cares for animals during national disasters and reunites them with their owners. You can donate to the organization here. You can also sign up to foster animals or donate to the Humane Society or local animal rescue organizations.

  • United Way Bay Area established a fund to help recovery efforts in communities in Northern and Central California after the August fires. You can donate here.

  • The Los Angeles County Fire Department Foundation supports firefighters, paramedics and other personnel. You can donate here.

  • Food banks across California are providing meals to communities affected by wildfires. You can find a local food bank to donate to on the California Association of Food Banks’ website or donate directly to the organization.

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