How to Help North Bay Fire Victims

Опубликовал Admin
23-12-2017, 16:27
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The 2017 North Bay Fires have been devastating to California’s northern Bay Area, particularly around Napa, Mendocino, Sonoma, and Lake. Whether you’ve been affected by the photographs and reports coming out of the area, or personally know someone affected by the fires, it’s likely that your first instinct is to ask what you can do to help. The best thing you can do is donate items in need to collection sites, give money to charities and organizations working to help evacuees, or volunteer to help in-person. No matter how much or little you can donate, every little bit will help victims start to rebuild their lives.

Donating Items in Need

  1. Bring nonperishable food to a Bay Area food pantry. Call ahead of time to see if the pantry is still in need of food, and what kinds are in highest demand. In general, stick to canned fruits and vegetables, nut butters, soups, cereals, and pasta. You can also call ahead of time to see what food items are in highest demand.
    • Look on local news media sites to see what food pantries are still collecting food. If you call a pantry that’s no longer accepting donations, ask if they know of any other sites where you can donate food.
    • If you live in the Bay Area, you can drop the items off in person. If you live farther away, ask if you can mail in your donation.
  2. Donate essential non-food items at collection sites. Items like clothing, blankets, pillows, socks, toiletries, and chargers are being collected at sites around the Bay Area. Look on local TV and news media for lists of sites that are still accepting donations, at places such as police departments and local businesses. Call the collection site beforehand to see what items they need the most of.
  3. Donate pet supplies to animal shelters. Pet supplies are being gathered at general collection sites and at local animal shelters. Contact the animal shelters and Humane Societies in and around Sonoma, Napa, and Yuba-Sutter to ask what supplies are in greatest demand right now.
    • Call Sonoma County Animal Services on their 24/7 phone line at (707)565-4648 for information or to make a donation.
  4. Lend your car to survivors through car-sharing apps. Offer to rent your car for free to people who have lost their car or mode of transportation in the fires. Search for car-sharing marketplaces, such as Turo, on the Internet. Specify that your car is being offered only to those affected by the fires.
  5. Host evacuees in your home through a home-sharing app. You can offer to house evacuees from the fire for free through an app or program, such as Airbnb’s Open Homes. List your available room or home through the platform, and be honest about how much space you have. Be an understanding and empathetic host to your guests during their stay.
  6. Follow local news media to see where items are needed. Local newspapers, TV stations, and disaster relief centers are constantly updating lists of areas, shelters, and collection sites that need the most help. Watch TV reports and use social media for updates on how you can help most effectively.

Giving Money To Survivors and Communities

  1. Give money to crowdfunding campaigns to help individuals or groups. Crowdfunding sites allow you to donate to individual victims or families as well as larger communities. You can read their story and see how much each group or person is hoping to raise. Even donating just a few dollars will help victims begin the process of rebuilding their lives. Look for campaigns on sites like:
    • GoFundMe. Use this link for a master list of all the North Bay fires campaigns: https://www.gofundme.com/raise-funds/CAfirerelief
    • Fundly.
    • YouCaring. The city of Santa Rosa has its own campaign, and Bay Area sports teams have started their own as well, both raising money to rebuild communities and help victims.
    • Go Fund a Hero. The North Bay Fire campaign on this site is tailored specifically to firefighters who lost their own homes while trying to save other buildings and communities.
  2. Check Facebook’s crisis center to help survivors directly. Facebook has separate pages for each fire in the North Bay. Click on them to see news posts and requests for specific donations from victims. You can also use this page to see if any of your Facebook friends have been affected by the fires. Use this link to access the crisis center: https://www.facebook.com/crisisresponse/
  3. Contribute to general relief funds for the North Bay Fires. As collection sites and food pantries fill up, more communities are asking for help in the form of monetary donations. There are many different, general funds you can donate to to help victims and communities. Donate to one of the following organizations, or find others in your local newspaper or in TV broadcasts.
    • The Napa Valley Community Disaster Relief Fund. Donate at http://www.napavalleycf.org/fire-donation-page/
    • The Red Cross. You can donate online or by calling 1-800 RED CROSS. You can also make a $10 donation by texting REDCROSS to 90999.
    • The Jewish Family and Children’s Services. You can donate here: https://www.jfcs.org/donate-help-victims-north-bay-fires/
    • Redwood Credit Union’s fire relief fundraiser. You can choose to donate to one affected county, or all four: Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino, or Lake. Donate here: https://www.redwoodcu.org/northbayfirerelief
  4. Contribute to help specific communities in need. To target your donation to specific communities, look into organizations such as:
    • The Latino Community Foundation. They’re donating funds to to Latino nonprofit organizations in the North Bay, such as the North Bay Organizing Project in Santa Rosa, UpValley Family Centers in Calistoga, and La Luz Center in Sonoma. You can donate here: https://latino-community-foundation.networkforgood.com/projects/38583-northern-california-fires-relief
    • The Tipping Point Community, which is raising money to help low-income families affected by the fires. Donate online here: https://tippingpoint.org/relief
  5. Avoid charity scams. Do a bit of research into the organization before you donate, especially if it’s one you’ve never heard of before. Watch out for phony-looking websites, such as ones with poor grammar and spelling or dated-looking graphics. Call the organization before you make a donation, asking them their address and if your donation will be tax deductible. They should be able to answer those questions with ease. If they can’t, try another organization.

Volunteering Your Time

  1. Sign up to help through the Red Cross. Some affected communities have been inundated with volunteers, and don’t currently need any more. You can sign up with the Red Cross in case these communities have a sudden need for more help, or the fires spread to new areas.
    • You must be older than 13 to volunteer with the Red Cross, and will need to create an online account with them. Use a search engine to log on to the Red Cross’s website and sign up to volunteer.
  2. Call 707-573-3399 to help in Sonoma County. You can also find volunteering opportunities at 211sonoma.org, or by emailing [email protected]
  3. Volunteer to foster animals. Search for “Community foster for norcal fire animals” on Facebook to access a page connecting volunteers to those in need. You can post what kind of animals you can take care of, or scroll through the comments to see what kind of fostering is needed. You can also call local animal shelters and humane societies to connect with animals that need help.
  4. Check the CVNL Facebook page. The CVNL, which stands for Center for Volunteer and Nonprofit Leadership, is working to organize volunteer efforts in the aftermath of the fires. They’ve received many new sign-ups and may not be accepting more, but you can get the latest updates by checking their Facebook page. Type “CVNL Marin” in the Facebook search box to access their page.
    • You can also get updates on where to send donations of food and other essential items.
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