Disaster struck California last week, as three separate wildfires sparked across the state. The so-called Camp, Woosley, and Hill fires are still ravaging homes and entire towns, and one (the Camp fire) has already become the deadliest in state history. As first responders work to contain the flames, several nonprofits and local communities are helping victims who have lost their homes find relief. Here's how you can support their work, even if you live hundreds of miles away.
Donate to the CCF Wildfire Relief Fund
The California Community Foundation established its Wildfire Relief Fund in 2003 to help the state through wildfire season. For the past 15 years, it's raised $5 million in relief, money that helps rebuild homes, secure temporary housing, improve emergency communications, and provide first aid, mental health, and basic needs assistance to victims of wildfires. You can give to this community fund through the CCF website.
Donate to the Red Cross
Nearly 400 Red Cross volunteers are helping Californians find shelter, food, and comfort as the fires rage on. Support their work with an online gift or by texting REDCROSS to 90999 (this will trigger a $10 donation). If you need help yourself, use the Red Cross Emergency app to find shelter locations or the Red Cross First Aid app for information on handling common injuries.
Donate to the Los Angeles Fire Department Foundation
Send your money straight to the first responders with a donation to the Los Angeles Fire Department Foundation. This group supplements the LAFD's city funds with cash that secures new equipment and training for the firefighters currently working to stamp out the blaze. You can direct your money towards general support or adopt a specific fire station through the foundation's online form.
Volunteer with Caring Choices
When natural disaster hits northern California, Caring Choices deploys volunteers to coordinate resources and medical services. You can become one of those volunteers by filling out an application for the nonprofit's emergency response center. Not local or able to assist? You can also send Caring Choices a donation at its Chico office or through PayPal.
Bring food and new clothes to the Oroville Hope Center
Victims of the Camp wildfires can access blankets, pillows, food, and clean clothing through the Oroville Hope Center. The nonprofit is now accepting drop-off donations at its warehouse on 2850 Feather River Boulevard in Oroville. For a full list of required items, check out the group's Facebook page. Or if you're local and you'd like to volunteer, contact Oroville Hope Center for more info.
Donate to the Animal Hope & Wellness Foundation
This California-based animal shelter has been working around the clock to rescue displaced pets and strays. Since the fires started, Animal Hope & Wellness has rescued more than 300 animals, including guinea pigs, rabbits, llamas, and a turkey named Bagel. Send the team some cash to support its ongoing efforts, or if you need help evacuating your furry friends, text at 424-248-7458.
Pick something off Baby2Baby’s registry
The nonprofit Baby2Baby is asking for diapers, bath towels, and baby wash to support children affected by the wildfires. You can purchase these items through Baby2Baby's registry on Target.
List your house on Airbnb for evacuees
If you live around Los Angeles or San Diego, you can help by listing your home on Airbnb. The online marketplace is offering free lodging to displaced evacuees and relief workers now through Nov. 29, and it’s currently seeking hosts in the regions marked on this map. If that’s you, open your house up through Airbnb’s website or app.