11 Ways to Donate to West Coast Wildfire Victims

Firefighters continue their heroic efforts against West Coast wildfires, which continue to destroy hundreds of thousands of acres, creating extensive damage to forests and communities. The most recent statistics issued by the National Interagency Fire Center indicate that 75 large fires have destroyed more than 3.7 acres across 11 states.

The fires have prompted evacuations in California, Idaho and Oregon, while smoke-filled haze from the fires is leading to respiratory problems among large parts of the population. You can help wildfire victims by opening your heart — and your wallet. Many worthy organizations are providing much-needed help and assistance to evacuees suffering as a result of the wildfires.

Where can I donate to help West Coast wildfire victims?

Donations are being actively sought to help those impacted by the wildfires and those on the front lines of the battle. One way to help is by using your insurance to donate to a worthy cause. You can also donate directly to the following nonprofit organizations, many of which created funds specifically geared toward victims of the West Coast wildfires.

The American Red Cross — The American Red Cross has long been on the scene of emergencies, providing emergency meals, shelter and relief supplies, and supporting emergency responders. Donations to the Red Cross’ Western Wildfires fund will directly help those impacted by this emergency.

[ Read: The Best Home Owners Insurance Companies for 2020 ]

California Community Foundation — The CCF’s mission is to “lead positive systemic change that strengthens Los Angeles communities.” The organization’s Wildfire Relief Fund is in place to support mid- and long-term recovery efforts for individuals impacted by both the Northern and Southern California wildfires. The foundation also offers links and information to additional resources.

California Fire Foundation — The California Fire Foundation “provides emotional and financial assistance to families of fallen firefighters, firefighters and the communities they protect.” Services include emergency support to departments and families of firefighters killed in the line of duty, short-term victim assistance through its Supplying Aid to Victims of Emergency (SAVE) program and community improvement.

The Center for Disaster Philanthropy — The CDP’s mission is to “leverage the power of philanthropy to mobilize a full range of resources” to support communities facing disaster. The CDP California Wildfires Recovery Fund focuses on helping communities rebuild and recover from wildfires by encouraging targeted grant-making and donor contributions and working with organizations in impacted areas.

[ Read: Seven Tips When Filing a Wildfire Homeowners Insurance Claim ]

Direct Relief — Direct Relief carries a regular inventory of equipment needed during wildfires, including N-95 masks and respiratory medications. The organization recently committed $1.5 million in cash and made available particulate respirators, oxygen concentrators and other medical resources to more than 200 state and county agencies, emergency management organizations and community health centers in the fire-impacted locations.

Entertainment Industry Foundation — This foundation uses the voice and talent of the entertainment industry to raise funds, build awareness and enhance programs locally, nationally and globally, to help facilitate positive social change. The EIF’s Fire Relief Fund provides resources that support firefighters, first responders and communities that have been impacted by the wildfires throughout North America.

Oregon Community Foundation — The Oregon Community Foundation works to “improve lives for all Oregonians through the power of philanthropy.” When it comes to the wildfires, the organization has donated more than $1 million to relief efforts, including providing emergency support to those impacted by the state’s fires and assistance in rebuilding the neighborhood and communities. Dollars collected by the OCF go to local organizations that help support emergency response and rebuilding.

Red Rover — Pets can often be the last consideration when it comes to emergencies or evacuations. Finding pet-friendly shelters or lodgings can often be difficult, especially during disasters. Red Rover, which “helps animals in crisis” by providing disaster relief services and emergency shelters, among other things, provides information about pet-friendly resources throughout the stricken areas, as well as financial assistance grants for emergency veterinary care.

[ Read: Prepare for Disasters Without Destroying Your Budget ]

The Salvation Army — The Salvation Army has deployed multiple teams across its many divisions to provide wildfire relief to first responders and residents across California and Oregon. The national organization is working with local divisions to provide food, water, shelter, spiritual comfort and other provisions to those in need. You can either donate on the U.S. website or log on to California and Oregon’s division websites to do so.

Save the Children — As is suggested by the name of this charity, Save the Children is geared toward assisting children in regional, national and international crisis situations. The organization provides resources to help in the areas of child health, education and protection. Save the Children’s 2020 U.S. Wildfires Relief Fund is mobilizing supplies and other relief services to assist children and families in California and Washington State.

The Wildland Firefighter Foundation — This organization is targeted to support firefighters and their families. While the main focus is to help families of firefighters killed in the line of duty, the organization’s resources also help injured firefighters. WFF also partners with private and interagency organizations to educate the public about fires and promote safety when it comes to firefighting.

We welcome your feedback on this article. Contact us at inquiries@thesimpledollar.com with comments or questions.

Image Credit: Justin Sullivan/ Getty Images