14 ways to help those affected by the California wildfires and the heroes fighting them

Two wildfires that raged across northern and southern California are fully contained after scorching hundreds of square miles for weeks.

The Camp Fire in northern California killed at least 85 people and burned so many structures that it was declared the most destructive wildfire in California history.

Meanwhile, the smaller Woolsey fire destroyed at least 1,500 structures throughout Southern California‘s Ventura County and the outskirts of Los Angeles.

The fires have displaced hundreds of thousands of people and animals and hundreds of emergency workers remain on the ground to search for bodies.

The US Center for International Disaster Information has declared sending money is the most effective way to help in a crisis, so we compiled a list of several reputable organisations accepting donations for supplies, meals, and relief funds, with the help of Charity Navigator.

Here’s how you can help.


General aid: California Community Foundation

The foundation’s Supplying Aid to Victims of Emergency (SAVE) program takes donations to provide emergency short-term financial assistance to both firefighters and civilians affected by fires and natural disasters in California year-round.

Donate here »


General aid: American Red Cross

The Red Cross is collecting donations to provide shelter, food, relief, and medical services to both civilians and emergency workers affected by the fires.

Donate here »


Child resources: Baby2Baby

The organisation set up a Target wishlist for high-need items including diapers, blankets, and some clothing.

See items here »


Firefighter support: Los Angeles Fire Department Foundation

The Los Angeles Fire Department Foundation supports the LAFD with private funding to help get equipment and supplies, training and outreach, and fund youth programs after the city stops being able to contribute. The LAFD is one of the agencies battling multiple fires in Southern California. It’s also the organisation that Gerard Butler urged people to donate to when he shared a photo showing his destroyed home and thanked the firefighters trying to control the blazes.Donate here »


Volunteer support: Caring Choices

The Chico, California nonprofit is organising volunteers for relief from damage caused by the Camp Fire.

Though the organisation temporarily paused its volunteer sign-up, it encourages those interested to check back in the coming weeks and is still accepting donations.

Donate here »


Medical support: Enloe Medical Center

The Chico, California hospital is accepting donations for displaced patients and families.

Donate here »


Emergency worker support: Entertainment Industry Foundation

Funds from the nonprofit provide hydration backpacks, night vision goggles, and meals for firefighters and other emergency workers battling the fires.

Donate here »


Emergency worker support: Direct Relief

The organisation is collecting donations to buy N-95 masks, medicine, and other resources to provide to healthcare agencies and first responders in the wildfire-affected areas.

Donate here »


Animal relief: Humane Society of Ventura County

The Southern California chapter is helping animals displaced by the Woolsey and Hill fires and currently accepts donations through its website or items and supplies from its Amazon wish list.

Donate here »


Evacuee shelter: North Valley Community Foundation

This Chico nonprofit is raising money to support organisations establishing shelters for Camp Fire evacuees.

Donate here »


Low-income support: United Way of Greater Los Angeles

The organisation’s relief efforts focus specifically on helping homeless and low-income individuals recover after fires and other natural disasters in the area.

Donate here »


Relief fund for lost homes: United Way of Northern California

The local chapter has established a relief fund for those who have lost their homes.

Donate here »


Crowdfunding: GoFundMe

GoFundMe has collected several relevant funds that support wildfire relief for families, towns, and organisations. Donate here »


General Aid: Donate via Google

Google is collecting donations for the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, which will distribute funds to local nonprofits.Donate here by clicking the “YES, DONATE” button »

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