NOTE: Please check back frequently for donations and volunteer information.
Last updated 10/30/2017 1:00PM
October Wildfires 2017
On Sunday, October 8 California firefighters began battling multiple wildfires in numerous counties across the entire state, prompting mass evacuations. Thousands of acres burned and threatened infrastructure as strong winds fueled the fast-moving fires. At the peak of the wildfires there were 21 major fires that burned over 245,000 acres, at one time forced 100,000 to evacuate, and destroyed an estimated 8,400 structures. For updated recovery information, visit the Cal OES website–October 2017 California Wildfire Recovery Resources– at www.wildfirerecovery.org.
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How You Can Help
It will take some time to identify specific needs, but financial donations to grantmaking organizations and nonprofit disaster response organizations are the best way to help individuals and families affected by disasters. As needs are identified, this information will be updated on this website.
The following organizations are accepting financial contributions to assist those affected by the Nor-Cal fires.
- North Bay Fire Relief
- Northern California Grantmakers
- Northern California Fire Fund (Silicon Valley Community Foundation)
- The Salvation Army
- United Way of the Wine Country
- American Red Cross
- Center for Volunteering and Nonprofit Leadership
- North Coast Opportunities
Serving Lake County
- Community Foundation of Mendocino County: Disaster Donation Page
Serving Mendocino County
- Community Foundation of Sonoma County: Resiliency Donation Page
Serving Sonoma County
- Napa Valley Community Foundation: Fire Donation Page
Serving Napa County
- United Way Bay Area
Serving Napa County
CaliforniaVolunteers strongly encourages donors to carefully research charitable organizations prior to donating to ensure that their donated funds will have the desired result. For additional information and easy-to-use tips on avoiding charity scams following a disaster, please visit the California Office of the Attorney General’s Charities website.
A financial contribution to a recognized disaster relief organization is the most effective donation to make. When people support voluntary organizations with financial contributions, it helps ensure the right goods get to the right people at the right time following a disaster.
Although there may be many needs, it is not helpful to collect “everything.” To donate responsibly, here are some tips to consider when collecting and donating in-kind items.
- BEFORE Collecting: Coordinate with an organization working in the affected area to identify WHAT is actually needed, HOW MUCH is needed, and WHEN it is needed.
- BEFORE Collecting: Plan for transportation to move the items from where they are to where they are needed.
- BEFORE Collecting: Identify who will take possession of the items and how they will be used or distributed.
- Used clothing is never needed in a disaster area. Donate used clothing locally to an organization that has a year round mission with used clothing. Or sell used clothing at a yard sale and donate the money raised to a responding organization.
- It is important to remember unsolicited donated goods (e.g. clothing, miscellaneous household items, and mixed or perishable foodstuffs) require voluntary agencies to redirect valuable resources away from providing services to sort, package, transport, warehouse, and distribute items that may not meet the needs of disaster survivors
The need for volunteers is currently being assessed and will be updated regularly.
At this time, please consider affiliating with existing nonprofit organizations before coming to the disaster area. Immediately following a disaster, a community can become easily overwhelmed by the number of generous people who want to help. Contacting and affiliating with an established organization will help to ensure that you are appropriately trained ad supported to respond in the most effective way.
Above all, please do not self-deploy.
American Red Cross:
- If you are interested in volunteering in sheltering operations with American Red Cross, please visit http://www.redcross.org/volunteer/become-a-volunteer#step1 to sign up. Fill out the volunteer form and indicate your location or search by zip code to find opportunities in your community. You can also follow up with your local Red Cross volunteer coordinator, who can be found through the zip code search.
- To help with disaster relief efforts in Sonoma County, email the Volunteer Center of Sonoma County at email@example.com or call (707) 573-3399 to sign up to volunteer. **Please be advised that the volunteer center is receiving many volunteer opportunity inquiries, so please be patient. If you call the phone bank and reach the voicemail, leave a detailed message with your full name, phone number, email address, and any other pertinent information.
Napa & Marin Counties:
- At this time we are assessing needs in the field and will keep you posted as updates are available and when there may be new volunteering opportunities. Please check back here and on our Twitter page for updates.
Napa County Animals:
- If you’re interested in volunteering with the Napa Community Animal Response Team, please text (707) 666-3598 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.