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How you can help survivors of wildfires in Northern California

Already, 2020 has been a record-breaking year for wildfires — six of the top 20 largest wildfires in California history have occurred this year.

Thousands of firefighters are responding to fires spread across Northern California and hundreds of thousands of acres have burned. Here’s how you can help those impacted:

Local places to donate:

UndocuFund is working with undocumented individuals and families in Sonoma County who are coping with fire-related losses as well as issues with the COVID-19 pandemic. The organization is helping an estimated 38,500 undocumented immigrants in the county who do not qualify for federal assistance after an emergency. Visit UndocuFund’s website to learn more.

Corazón Healdsburg provides disaster relief in the form of financial support, housing and other resources for local families. The organization started the Unity and Community fund to help residents after the Kincade Fire in 2019. Click here to learn more.

Redwood Empire Food Bank is accepting money and food donations to help fire survivors and those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Monetary donations help cover costs of transportation and refrigeration. Visit their website to learn more.

Sonoma Family Meal has been serving chef-made meals to disaster survivors since 2017. The organization has a network of supporting restaurants that helps seniors, food insecure families and people affected by disasters. Learn more here. Disclosure: Press Democrat food writer Heather Irwin is the volunteer executive director of SFM.

Food For Thought Food Bank is collecting monetary donations to cover the cost of food for people affected by serious illnesses in Sonoma County. The organization also has started a COVID-19 Nutrition Program. Learn more here.

The Community Foundation Sonoma County launched the Sonoma County Resilience Fund in 2017 and has since supported nonprofits working toward disaster recovery with millions of dollars in grants. Click here to learn more.

COTS provides emergency shelter and permanent housing for people with a range of needs. The organization has offered housing and shelter during times of increased need after fires in the past. Visit their website here.

Redwood Credit Union has opened a 2020 fire relief fund to assist fire survivors who lost their homes in Sonoma, Marin, Napa and Lake counties. Tax-deductible donations will be distributed through nonprofits or given directly to those in need. Click here for more information.

Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Santa Rosa is accepting donations which will provide immediate relief to survivors in the form of gift cards, emergency food and other resources. The organization has been providing local disaster recovery since 2015, including disaster preparedness workshops, weekly food distributions and more. Visit its website here to learn more.

Regional/state fundraisers:

The Greater Bay Area Central Coast Wildfire Relief Fund is an immediate and long-term recovery fund for the Bay Area and Central Coast set up by United Way Bay Area. Residents in these areas that were affected by the August 2020 wildfires can receive housing assistance and other identified immediate needs. Click here for more information.

Supply Aid to Victims of Emergency (SAVE) is a program by the California Fire Foundation which provides frontline firefighters and fire victims with gift cards to purchase necessities like food, clothing or medicine. The program, started in 2014, provides direct relief to victims especially in the first 48 hours after a disaster. Learn more here.

GoFundMe has started a centralized hub with a number of verified fundraisers for residents displaced by the fires in Northern California. Fundraisers include those for families that lost their homes, local businesses and others affected. Click here for more.

The Latino Community Foundation has reactivated its Wildfire Relief Fund to contribute to Latino-led organizations supporting families affected by the wildfires across the state of California. In past years, the foundation has assisted local Latino immigrant and working-class families that were hit especially hard by the Kincade Fire. For more information, visit their website here.

The American Red Cross is helping serve meals, delivering supplies, support first responders and more. You can also volunteer with the Red Cross or help with fundraising efforts. Learn more here.

The California Community Foundation started its Wildfire Relief Fund in 2003, which supports mid- and long-term recovery efforts. The fund will continue to help communities affected by the many wildfires in California in 2020. To learn more, visit the fund website here.

The Center for Disaster Philanthropy has launched a California Wildfires Recovery Fund, which has raised more than $3 million in grants for nonprofits and groups in California to recover from wildfires since 2017. They are also addressing long-term needs of affected communities. Learn more here.

The Solano Disaster Relief Fund is giving small and large grants to Solano County residents that have been affected for short and long-term needs and projects. Click here to learn more.

California Association of Food Banks is a membership organization of 42 food banks across the state, which help with displaced families and others who need food. The organization provides food to millions of Californians. Visit its website to learn more.

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