How to Help Those Affected by the California Wildfires – 2.0

I’m disheartened as I find myself writing another version of a similarly titled rant.

The wildfires burning across not just the state of California, but the entire western US region is alarming and heartbreaking. Mainly caused by the effects of climate change and a few dumb human mistakes, these fires have now become one of the largest yet on record.

In California, fires have now claimed over 25 lives, burned over 3.2 million acres, with some fires barely 50-70% contained as I write this rant. Even while being many miles away from the closest fire, the smoke has made the air quality all across the Bay Area and the state one of the worst in the world. At one point, according to IQair, we in San Francisco hit 200AQI or “purple”. San Francisco air is now in the “green” for the first time in over a month.

Since my asthma attack earlier this year, I haven’t used my inhaler as much as I have these past several weeks. I have been home for almost three weeks straight and finally went for a walk for the first time this week, masked of course. Yet I keep thinking, how are the people in the heart of this disaster even coping?

The first responders have put their own lives on the line helping people evacuate and attempting to put out these fires. They’ve even gotten help from firefighters from as far as Australia, who battled their own wildfires barely a year ago.

If you still deny that climate change is real, please educate yourself!

So how can we help our fellow Californians in their time of need? Below are a few organizations I’m aware of that are on the grounds. Your donations in the form of finances, awareness, and time would be greatly appreciated.

– The California Fire Foundation is providing both financial and emotional support to our hardworking firefighters on the grounds as well as fallen officers and their families. Let’s be sure to show your appreciation to the amazing s/heroes out there.

Islamic Relief USA has a Disaster Response Team that is helping those affected by the fires all across the western coast.

– The American Red Cross is also providing assistance for all those affected by the wildfires, from temporary shelters to blood drives.

– The North Valley Community Foundation is continuing what they started during the Camp and Butte fires back in 2018 and providing continued support to local resources across Northern California.

– Of course, the World Central Kitchen is still helping provide hot meals across Calfornia as well as Washington and Oregon states. You can also donate to local food banks in the region through Feeding America.

I’ll update this rant with any additional information I come across to do our part in helping our fellow Americans throughout the west coast. If you have additional information to share, kindly email me or post the sources in the comments below.

How to Help Those Affected by the California Wildfires

The wildfires in my home state of California has been devastating. The Camp Fire in Butte County has claimed over 40 lives, burned over 110,000 acres and only 30% contained as of writing. This fire has been so far the worst in California history. A second fire in Southern California’s Ventura County deemed the Woolsey Fire is fast spreading. CAL FIRE reports as of this writing that the fire has spread across over 91,500 acres and only 20% contained. There have been five injuries, three of which are firefighters and I’m praying there will not be reporting of causalities.

Being almost 200 miles away from Butte County, the billowing smoke has affected the air quality here in the San Francisco Bay Area. I’ve used my rescue inhaler over twice a day since the fires began. I’ve stayed indoors as much as possible over the weekend, dunned a face mask when one was available to me but I keep thinking, how are the people in the heart of this disaster even coping?

The first responders have put their own lives on the line helping people evacuate and attempting to put out this fire. Many of them are from Butte County and have family forced to evacuate and lost their own homes in the fire.

So how can we help our fellow Californians in their times of need? Below are a few organizations I’m aware of that are on the grounds. Your donations in the form of finances and time would be greatly appreciated.

Source: AP/Noah Berger via Islamic Relief USA

Islamic Relief USA has a Disaster Response Team that is helping those affected by the fires in both northern and southern California. The California Community Foundation has a Wildfire Relief Fund currently supporting recovery and preparedness. Benevity is supporting the American Red Cross’ efforts on the ground.

According to the Sacramento Bee, shelters have been receiving “generous but useless donations”. Meaning, kindly check what is needed before donating your entire stash of hygiene products. If you can’t donate things like underwear or backpacks, the best thing to do is to donate a gift card from say Target. Your time is also highly appreciated but please inquire ahead, your safety and that of others come first.

I’ll update this post with any additional information I come across on how we can continue to help those affected throughout California. If you have additional information to share, kindly email me or post them in the comments below.

For help, support or information for Butte County, please go buttecounty.net or call 211.

UPDATE – 14 November: ABC7 News Bay Area is teaming up with Vitalant for a blood drive. The North Valley Community Foundation is collection corporate gifts and in-kind donations. To volunteer, head to Caring Choices for more information.

Captured November 21st at 7am on Judah Street

UPDATE – 16 November: GoFundMe has created a central page with verified campaigns to help the victims. The same has been done by Charity Navigator, listing all verified organizations on the grounds in both Northern and Southern California. The California Fire Foundation is providing both financial and emotional support to the firefighters and the fallen officers and their families. Let’s be sure to showcase our support and appreciation to the amazing firefighters and first responders.

For details on the current air quality in the Bay Area, go to airnow.gov and enter the zip code of your area. As of this writing, it’s lingering at 233 here in San Francisco which is “very unhealthy”. According to KTVU, we are experiencing the worst air quality in the world. I took this picture this morning of the smoke looming above the Sunset district. Due to the air quality, most schools and universities are not open today or the rest of the week.

UPDATE – November 21: I’m sure there are many small businesses supporting the victims of the California wildfires. One of them is San Francisco’s QSpa, located on both Steiner and Divisidaro, off the Haight. Right now, QSpa is donating 100% of the proceeds from the sales of their $25 in-house cuticle oil to those affected in Butte County. For $15, you can bring back your empty bottle for a refill.

Final Update – December 1: The Camp Fire may be fully out but there is still much to do to help our friends get their lives back to some form of normalcy and rebuild the many towns affected. I want to be able to continue to showcase my support in any way possible. Therefore, all season long, I’ll be donating some of the proceeds from Ms. Hala’s Boutique to the¬†Islamic Relief USA¬† and the¬†¬†California Fire Foundation, two of many amazing organizations helping our friends across the state. Please continue to share this post and add on it to with any additional information in the comments below.

 

Haiti 411

Updated 2:00pm PST 22 Jan 2010… feel free to utilize this blog & repost it with proper credits…

On Tuesday 12 January 2010, the island nation of Haiti was struck by a 7.0 earthquake and then up to 24 aftershocks ranging from 4.8 to 5.9 on the ricker scale. Being one of the poorest nations in the Western Hemiphere, Haiti’s infraustructure did not withstand the quakes. Over hundreds of thousands of people across the country are presummed dead, missing or trapped until trumendious rumble.

The developments out of Haiti right now continue to be heartbreaking and devastating. Below, I have listed organizations that can use your financial help, volunteerism or to simply spread the word. Many of these organizations are already on the ground in Haiti providing necessary food, water, medicine and shelter to the many in need. Below are direct links to these organizations as well as phone numbers to call:

Islamic Relief
American Red Cross
Hollywood Unites for Haiti Relief Fund
Yele Haiti
UNICEF –¬†1.800.4UNICEF
Salesforce Foundation
World Vision
Medical Assistance Program International
Progressives for Haiti
Direct Relief
World Food Program
Mercy Corps
Save the Children
Lambi Fund
The International Rescue Committee
Charity: Water
Concern Worldwide
International Federation of Red Cross & Red Crescent Societies
Stand With Haiti
The Salvation Army –¬†800-725-2769
UN World Food Programme
UN Emergency Response
Weill Cornell Medical College
Feed the Children
Clinton and Bush Fund

You can also donate via text message through the following organizations & the amount will be added to your phone bill.

–Wyclef Jean’s Yele Haiti: text¬†“YELE”¬†to¬†501501 to donate $5
–The American Red Cross: text “HAITI”¬†to¬†90999 to donate $10
–Rescue Union Mission & MedCorp International: text “HAITI” to 85944 to donate $5
–Internal Rescue Committee: text “HAITI” to 25383 to donate $5
–United Way Worldwide’s Disaster Fund: text “HAITI to 864833 to donate $5
–Clinton Foundation: text “HAITI” to 20222 to donate $10
–Salvation Army in Canada: text “HAITI” to 45678 (Canada only)
–UN Fund: text “CERF” to 90999 to donate $5 (Terms of Agreement)

Wyclef Jean

Other important information regarding relief & support for the people of Haiti:

If you or someone you know in the USA are trying to connect with family/friends in Haiti, The US Dept of State, Office of Overseas Citizens Services has set up two numbers you can call: 1.800.407.4747 and 202.647.5225.¬†You can also check the missing people board or add to it by going to Koneksyon.com which was set up by “Sebastien Barrau” and “Marvin Chery as well as the ICRC Family Links.

Doctors, nurses and anyone in the medical field, your expertise is needed!! Please visit or call the following organizations for more details… FYI: American Airlines if flying medical help to Haiti for FREE, learn more by calling 212.697.9767.

Partners in Health
Doctors Without Borders
Relief International
International Medical Corps
–National Nurses United
213.309.0266 (Bill Gallagher)

Google has made it easier to donate online as well as see a list of organizations such as the ones listed above. Please go to¬†Google’s Official Blog for more!

All sales done through TDJunkie.com will go towards UNICEF’s efforts in Haiti!

There will be multiple fundraisers for Haiti including the following:

Haiti Earthquake Live Fundraiser ONLINE
7 January 2010 @ 2pm EST
Held by Seekers Guidance & the Islamic Relief USA

Hope for Haiti hosted by George Clooney (LA), Wyclef Jean (NY) and Anderson Cooper (Haiti)
22 January 2010 @ 8pm EST
Broadcast globally commercial free on multiple networks

If you are on Twitter, please check out my twitter list of organizations and individuals with information on Haitian relief and support.

May God grant the people of Haiti comfort, protection, patience and mercy through this difficult & sad tragedy.

To have your¬†organization¬†or information added to this blog, please state so in the comments below…