As three major wildfires continue to burn in California, at least 80 people have died, hundreds are missing and thousands of people have been forced to leave their homes. Firefighters continue to battle the Camp, Woolsey and Hill fires, as the Camp Fire has become the deadliest and most destructive fire in the state's history.
Many people lost their homes and all their belongings, evacuating with just the clothes they were wearing. As they wait in temporary shelters, there is an overwhelming need for assistance. If you want to help those impacted, here are just some of the ways you can offer aid:
American Red Cross — The disaster relief organization is providing shelter and support to evacuees. You can help by giving online, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or by texting REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 contribution.
California Fire Foundation — The foundation has a Supplying Aid to Victims of Emergency (SAVE) program, which provides emergency short-term financial assistance to victims and firefighters in the form of gift cards, valued up to $250. You can donate here.
California Community Foundation’s Wildfire Relief Fund — The foundation assists with recovery efforts, prevention campaigns and support programs for those who have lost their homes or employment because of the fires. You can donate online or send checks to: California Community Foundation 221 S. Figueroa St., Suite 400, Los Angeles, CA 90012.
Direct Relief — This humanitarian aid organization provides equipment and medicine to health care workers and first responders battling wildfires. Donate online here.
The Firefighters Charitable Foundation — The foundation assists volunteer fire departments, which have played a key role in fighting the California blazes. The organization delivers aid directly to victims and supports volunteer firefighting organizations. You can donate through their website.
GoFundMe — The fundraising site has set up a page that includes campaigns created by individuals who have lost their homes and belongings, as well as those set up specifically to help animals, first responders and educators.
Humane Society of Ventura County — Countless animals have been hurt and lost homes because of the fires. This local humane society (unaffiliated with any national groups) expects to offer long-term care to many of them. You can donate online or purchase items from their Amazon Wish List.
Los Angeles Fire Department Foundation — Supporting the Los Angeles Fire Department, the organization helps provide first responders with the equipment and supplies they need to continue battling the blazes. The foundation recently asked for donations to provide hydration backpacks to firefighters. You can donate online.
United Way of Greater Los Angeles and United Way of Northern California — Both organizations have established disaster relief funds to help victims rebuild their lives after the fire. You can donate online here and here.
Our list is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of organizations trying to help in the aftermath of the fires. Charity Navigator has a lengthy list of organizations "confirmed to be working to provide relief to the individuals and communities affected by these devastating fires in Southern and Northern California."
And that makes giving as easy as clicking on a link.