The 2017 California Wildfire season is nearing the most destructive on record. With thousands already displaced from their homes as the wildfires continue to plague the state, every act of support can make a difference. Below is a list of actions we can each be taking to help support the victims of the California Wildfires.
Donate or Volunteer
The Red Cross of Ventura County has three shelters available in the area, with the help of volunteers, and is accepting donations. You can donate to relief by going to the Red Cross website, calling 800-733-2767 or texting REDCROSS to 90999.
The United Way of Ventura County, American Red Cross of Ventura County and the Ventura County Sheriff's Office of Emergency Services have joined forces to collect monetary donations. You can offer help by texting UWVC to 41444, visiting the United Way of Ventura County's website or calling 805-485-6288.
Help Communities Rebuild
GoFundMe has a dedicated page for verified campaigns that are helping victims of the fires, such as one for the family of firefighter Matt Ekblad and his wife, who lost everything when their home burned down in the Thomas Fire.
Crowdfunding site YouCaring also has a donation page up with many fundraisers created specifically for victims, such as firefighter Tom Lanski of Ventura, who lost his childhood home.
Support Local Animal Shelters
Animals and livestock were left behind or separated from their owners during the fires. To help animals suffering from the disaster, visit the Humane Society of Ventura County or the California Wildlife Center.
"We have been in full-throttle crisis mode, " said spokesperson Franki D. Williams from the Humane Society of Ventura County, "open 24/7 since Monday and have been intaking animals as well as going out on animal evacuations since that time."
Ventura County Animal Services is another great option, with a fire wish list, updated regularly as needs change.