As wildfires continue to rage across the North Bay, many Bay Area residents are seeking out ways to help with aid and recovery efforts. Here are a few ways that you can do your part.
Immediately following a disaster, the quickest, simplest way to help is to donate money to reputable, established shelters and relief funds. Cash is much more flexible and easier to be utilized by charities. One of the simplest ways to donate is to check out Facebook's Crisis Response center, which aggregates information about the various disasters and crises going on around the world. There, you'll find information about the Tubbs Fire, the Sulphur Fire, the McCourtney Fire, the Cherokee Fire, and the Atlas Fire. Many of the individual recap pages also have links to crowdfunding pages and charities that are specifically dedicated to each affected region.
There are various individual fundraisers on GoFundMe, including this catchall one, started by Jake Kloberdanz, a winery owner up in Napa. It has raised over $35,000 as of this writing which will be split between the various organizations involved with firefighting and relief efforts, including the Sonoma Valley Fire and Rescue Authority, the Napa County Fire Department, and Lake County Fire and Rescue. The money will also be directed to help various relief funds set up for individual victims.
If you really want to send along items as a donation, then it's worth checking with the local shelters to see what they're in need of most. Anything extra often ends up taking up space that could be better utilized as potential shelter or for holding other, more useful donations. Space becomes a premium directly following a disaster. ABC 7 also helpfully recommends following Charity Navigator's tips for verifying your desired charity.
In SF, Love on Haight will be taking donations that they'll bring up to the fire victims. Though they said they're happy to take clothing donations, they also shared a list of currently required items on Facebook, including things like: air mattresses, pillows, phone chargers, pet supplies and food, baby diapers, personal protective equipment, toiletries, and more.
There are some opportunities for people living in the city to pitch in and help out. For one, you can help Dominique Crenn and her crew make food for victims. According to Grubstreet, they're working out of the kitchens at Atelier Crenn and Petit Crenn to make cheese sandwiches, which will be brought up to the North Bay later today. They started at 10 a.m., and yesterday, Crenn posted on Instagram about requiring more volunteers as well as donations of bread, cheese, and paper wrap.
According to SF Gate, the Red Cross has enough volunteers to help out with relief efforts. That said, if you're still looking to get out there yourself, they suggest signing up through their website, where they'll contact you if they end up needing more people. In a statement, they wrote:
Trained Red Cross volunteers are currently staffing shelters and supporting residents. As the disaster continues to evolve, the Red Cross will assess how community volunteers can best support the operation. Those interested in volunteering to support Sonoma, Napa, Lake and Mendocino wildfire relief efforts, can sign up online.
7x7 also helpfully points out that the already overly taxed fire departments could use a hand with a few tasks around the various stations. They shared listings for the Sonoma County, Napa County, and Yuba County fire stations. You should check in with them to see what they may specifically need, whether it's help around the station or even a home-cooked meal.
Airbnb is also employing their emergency relief program, as the Mercury News reports, offering free shelter to the displaced by seeking people who can donate space in their homes through to the end of the month.