Here’s how to help those impacted by California’s wildfires

Give more than just thanks this holiday season

Los Angeles County firefighters. | Photo: Krista Kennell / Shutterstock

Thanksgiving is finally here, and as a nation we’re preparing for all that makes this holiday special: eating enough food to feed a small country, awkward run-ins with your high school prom date, dealing with your racist uncle, sleeping on Aunt Shirley’s pull out couch, and spending hours stuck in traffic.

But while you might be dreading heading home for the holidays, not everyone has a home to return to this week.

Northern California’s massive Camp Fire has so far destroyed over 11,000 homes, killed at least 79 people, and decimated the town of Paradise. The Woolsey Fire has covered more than 96,000 acres in Los Angeles and Ventura counties. And those are not the only fires still burning in the state, causing mass evacuations and poor air quality.

Between giving thanks and stuffing your face this week, why not consider donating to the victims of the fires, or the thousands of firefighters putting their lives at risk to save others? (And if you’re planning a California road trip this Thanksgiving weekend, make sure to research road closures due to fires ahead of time.)

Here are some ways you can help:

GoFundMe and the Direct Impact Fund

Donating to major charity organizations can seem like the easiest solution, but there’s often a ton of bureaucracy involved in actually getting the money to its intended recipients. One alternative is using GoFundMe’s Direct Impact Fund or their verified list of campaigns, where every dollar goes straight to those affected.  

California Community Foundation’s Wildfire Relief Fund

Donations to the California Community Foundation’s Wildfire Relief Fund go to assisting victims of the fires with everything from rebuilding homes to accessing medical care.

IAFF Disaster Relief

IAFF represents firefighters all over the country. By donating to their disaster relief efforts, you are supporting firefighters who lost their homes while battling the wildfires in California.

Southern California Disaster Relief Fund

Help people in low-income communities who have been displaced or affected by the fires in Southern California by donating to United Way’s Southern California Disaster Relief Fund.

California Fire Foundation

Fighting wildfires often means putting your own life at risk. Support the families of fallen firefighters and their communities by donating to the California Fire Foundation.

North Valley Animal Disaster Group

Based in Chico, California, the North Valley Animal Disaster Group is working to reunite families with their missing pets. You can help their efforts by making a donation. If you or someone you know has a lost pet, search this catalog of animals rescued from the Camp Fire.

Happy Thanksgiving from your friends at Roadtrippers.