5 Ways to Help the California Fire Victims Right Now
At press time, the southern California Woolsey and Hill fires and northern California Camp Fire continue to rip through the west coast state, destroying over 200,000 combined acres in their wake. Over 300,000 Californians have been forced to evacuate their homes, and many homes — including those of celebrity residents like Miley Cyrus, Gerard Butler, and Neil Young —have been lost altogether. At least 30 deaths have been reported. Here’s how you can help.
1. Check in on your friends in the vicinity of the fires. This may seem like a no-brainer, but if you know someone who’s been evacuated or who lives near the affected areas, check in on them. Our networks are our most valuable resource in times of crisis, but sometimes we forget to ask for help when we need it the most. It’s possible that you know someone who needs help but is too overwhelmed to ask for it. If you think this might be the case, reach out and show up.
2. Donate money. The New York Times has put together a comprehensive guide to local charities that are doing on-the-ground work in the affected areas, including the California Community Foundation’s Wildfire Relief Fund, the California Fire Foundation, the Humane Society of Ventura County, and the American Red Cross (who are also collecting blood donations). GoFundMe and Google have set up crowdfunding pages for fire relief, too.
3. Donate space.Airbnb is using its site as a free matchmaking service between people willing to open their homes to fire evacuees and aid workers, and the people who need a place to stay, until November 29.
4. Donate food. Salvation Army in Ventura is accepting non-perishable food items.
(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)