How You Can Help CA Fire Victims

The devastating Wine Country fires just north of San Francisco have burned more than 170,000 acres, killed at least 23 people and destroyed approximately 3,500 homes and commercial structures.

It’s estimated that staggering 50,000 people have evacuated the area so far, and that number is expected to rise as the fires rage on. The people and animals affected by this disaster will need food and shelter in the days, weeks and months to come.

Here’s How YOU Can Help

For those interested in lending a hand, we’ve compiled a list of opportunities—both large and small—to help those in need. The list below represents a few of the options available. Check online for sites that update information for further opportunities.

A Little Goes a Long Way

Not everyone can give cash. But for those who can contribute even a few dollars, cash is remarkably helpful because it can be put to specific needs in a specific situation or location.

This GoFundMe* page, created by winery owner Jake Kloberdanz, for general fire relief. There are also dozens of donation pages set up for individual people and families affected by the fire. All donations under the “California Fire Relief” section are backed by GoFundMe’s guarantee policy.

*GoFundMe collects 5 percent of the total amount raised and there is a transaction charge for each donation.

This YouCaring** page, created by a number of Bay Area sports teams including the San Francisco 49ers and the Golden State Warriors, pledged $450,000 and have invited fans to contribute. The City of Santa Rosa also set up its own YouCaring page to assist Tubbs Fire Victims.

**YouCaring charges a transaction fee but does not collect a percentage of the total donation.

The Community Foundation of Sonoma County launched a Resilience Fund that aims to address the mid to long-term needs of displaced residents. Facebook, which announced on Tuesday a $1 million pledge to fire relief efforts, has donated $250,000 to the fund. You can donate or find out more here.

Milo Foundation, a long-running animal rescue group with headquarters in Point Richmond, was forced to evacuate about 200 animals from its sanctuary in Willits. Shelter staff are asking people who live in safe locations to open their homes to shelter dogs and cats as a result.

Peet’s Coffee & Tea customers can make digital or cash donations for its North Bay Fire Relief Campaign through Oct. 22 at any of its coffee bars around the country. The Bay Area-based company will match funds of up to $10,000.

Love on Haight, a vintage clothing shop in San Francisco, posted on Facebook that it was accepting clothing donations and had a limited number of available shelters for evacuees. The clothing store has also set up a donation table outside for people to drop off clothing donations.

Ryse Youth Center in Richmond is also collecting supplies for victims of the fire. Organizers are asking for face masks and filters, adult and child diapers, hand sanitizer, deodorant and other toiletries.

Jewish Community Center in Berkeley (Walnut Street location): The community center will be accepting donations for a massive Thursday drop off. Staff are asking for clothing and toiletries.  Please bring donations by 4 p.m. Thursday.

Oakland 1-2-3-4 Go! Records: The long-running record store in Oakland has posted a list of needed items on its Facebook page (no clothing needed.) Donations will be dropped off in Santa Rosa throughout the week.

The Red Cross is seeking volunteers to assist fire evacuees. Log in here to get connected and see where help is needed. They can also use donations; you can give online, call 800-RED-CROSS or text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

Give to a California food Bank that’s helping victims.

Visit here to register as a disaster service worker.

Finally, stay off roads and keep emergency lines clear: Officials have asked the general public to keep emergency phone lines clear and to stay out of evacuation areas.

Safety First!

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District reports the levels of particulate matter are the highest they’ve been since since they began measuring  in 2000. Please stay indoors if possible.

Source: How You Can Help With North Bay Fire Relief Efforts – NBC Bay Area