SAN DIEGO, CALIF. - The first thing that comes to mind when we see a burning building, people suffering, a community ravaged by disaster is not whether or not we are looking at Republicans or Democrats; conservatives or liberals. We see neighbors. We see families in need. We see fellow Americans.
If there is one thing I know about our society, it is that at our core we are mostly compassionate people. We empathize with each other in times of great tragedy and hardship. We come together to give blood, donate what money and goods we have to spare, and give our time and energy to bring comfort and relief to those who just lost everything.
California is dealing with the most devastating and deadly wildfires in the state's history. As of the latest reports, at least 31 people have died, many more have lost their homes, and over 300,000 people have evacuated their communities. Hundreds of people are missing. It is a devastating situation for Californians throughout the state.
Many want to know what they can do to help California wildlife victims. Here are some of the ways people are steeping up:
- Lyft is offering free rides to people in the affected areas.
- AirBnb is encouraging hosts to offer free rooms in Ventura (Southern California) and Butte County (Northern California).
- AT&T is offering unlimited text, talk, and data sharing in Southern California, including prepaid customers.
- The Humane Society of Ventura County is taking in dogs, cats, horses and other domesticated animals.
Here is what you can do:
One of the best things people can do outside of volunteering time, energy, shelter, food, etc. in these areas is to donate money to a nonprofit organization that is providing relief in one way or another. It is said donating money is better than donating resources because volunteers on the ground know the specific goods and resources they need, so they can just go out and buy them.
You can donate to:
- The American Red Cross;
- The California Fire Foundation;
- Convoy of Hope;
- The California Community Foundation;
- Direct Relief; and/or
- North Valley Community Foundation
Note: Be sure to check the credibility of a nonprofit group before donating to it. While there are plenty of charitable people in this world, there are unfortunately fraudsters and scammers who will take advantage of events of great distress and tragedy.
If there is a nonprofit missing from this list that would be a good inclusion, please let us know.
Photo Credit: Toa55 / shutterstock.com