With the wildfires raging across California, our local Bay Area has been especially hit hard by disaster. From residential displacement to compromised air quality, the havoc wreaked by the fires has affected all of us in some way, shape, or form. Rebounding from this disaster is no easy feat, but out of disaster arises a moment for social solidarity — an opportunity to show up for one another. Here are some ways that the Bay Area community has been uplifting each other, and how you can unite with us.
Aid workers say that donating to a nonprofit dedicated to disaster relief and aid for wildfire victims is generally the best method to support affected communities. Not only is it convenient and contactless with consideration to the pandemic, but it is also a flexible form of aid, as experts closer to the issue can determine how to best utilize the funding. We suggest using Charity Navigator to vet organizations before you donate, but here are some pre-screened organizations we’ve picked out below.
- California Community Foundation’s Wildfire Relief Fund
- Latino Community Foundation NorCal Wildfire Relief Fund
- Solano Community Foundation’s Solano Disaster Relief Fund
- Off The Grid’s NorCal Fire Relief (primarily meal provision)
While online donations are the best option due to Covid-19 considerations, for those who prefer to be more hands-on and involved in how their donations are spent, donating supplies is another option. Given the spread of Covid-19, shelters are only accepting brand-new non-perishable goods, clothing, and bedding, all in unused condition. For those with the means to drive down south, Santa Cruz County has a call for donations here.
Aside from personally volunteering at your local food bank or emergency shelter, both of which are fair game if you’re a frontline type of worker, there is also the option to help out with reception and phone help to direct callers in need of help with Animal Services. Whether you’re volunteering your physical presence or your time from a remote location, going local is a great way to show up and show out. If you’re looking for a larger presence to contribute to, the Red Cross is taking volunteer applications as well.
Our hearts go out to all those affected by the California wildfires, and we stand strong together with our Bay Area community in its efforts to recover.