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How to help support victims of California wildfires

California wildfires have burned a record 2 million acres in 2020 and most dangerous part of the year is ahead.

WASHINGTON — The wildfires across the state of California this summer have caused a lot of damage to communities.

California wildfires have burned a record 2 million acres in 2020 and the most dangerous part of the year is ahead.

The recent wildfires have been enhanced by a heatwave in the state, causing evacuations and even hurting the amount of power that can be used by people in certain areas of the state.  

The Associated Press has reported that some localities are worried about power shortages, and are wanting people to cut back on its use due to the fires. 

With all the destruction and hurt, here is a list of organizations you can help support that is provided by the California Community Foundation:

Wildfire Relief Funds

Credit: AP
A firefighter battles the Creek Fire as it threatens homes in the Cascadel Woods neighborhood of Madera County, Calif., on Monday, Sept. 7, 2020. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

Direct Relief and Assistance

  • The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provides emergency medical, housing and other types of assistance for those affected by disasters.
  • The Small Business Administration  provides low-interest disaster loans to businesses, non-profit organizations, homeowners, and renters to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, personal property, equipment and other business assets.
  • The California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services connects residents with a wide range of services and programs targeted specifically at those who have been affected by wildfires.
  • The State of California’s Guide to Disaster Assistance Services for Immigrant Californians provides information on health, housing, emergency supplies, employment and other services available to all Californians, regardless of their immigration status.
  • The American Red Cross provides access to shelter to evacuees across California, as well as providing financial assistance to victims of disaster, evacuation updates and safety information.
  • Northern California Salvation Army supports relief efforts. Funds may be used to provide food and drinks to survivors, cleaning supplies and other essential commodities, direct financial aid to those effected or to support disaster relief workers serving in the area.
  • The California Association of Food Banks represents more than 40 food banks in the state that provide food to millions of residents, including victims of wildfires.
  • Foodbank of Contra Costa and Solano  distributes food directly to low-income people at community sites and makes food available for other nonprofit organizations serving the ill, needy and children.

When supporting relief organizations, consider marking your gift as general operating support. By doing so, you enable the organization to both respond to current disasters and be prepared for those that may arise in the future. Visit CCF’s disaster giving page for more tips on how to maximize your impact when giving to disaster relief.

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