For decades, scientists and environmentalists have been working tirelessly to spread the word of climate change and the dire need to act accordingly in an effort to ward off global warming. Sadly, for just as long, politicians and people all over the world haven’t heeded their advice and, according to the world’s top scientists, climate change is officially here. If you need proof, just look at the California, Washington, and Oregon wildfires that have displaced thousands of residents, upended entire communities, and continue to rage at unprecedented rates. But you can help.
It’s never too late to start focusing more heavily on your own sustainability efforts, but now is the perfect time to help those already experiencing the disastrous effects of climate change out West.
The best ways to help survivors of the West Coast wildfires
1. Join the Red Cross relief efforts
If you’ve been displaced by the wildfires, visit redcross.org to find shelter and donation facilities at your disposal.
2. Donate to The California Community Foundation’s Wildfire Relief Fund.
This fund “supports intermediate and long-term recovery efforts for major California wildfires, as well as preparedness efforts.” Donators have the option to pledge one-off, monthly, quarterly, or annual donations.
3. Donate to The California Fire Foundation
If you’ve been displaced, you do not need to apply for this relief. If you are eligible, firefighters will distribute the cards directly during disasters.
4. Donate to RedRover
People aren’t the only beings displaced by the California Wildfires–pets are, too. To help reunite lost animals with their families, donate to RedRover, an organization that focuses on “bringing animals from crisis to care.” Or, if you’re a local animal lover yourself, you can volunteer to foster animals in their time of need.
5. Host displaced families with Airbnb
“In an emergency, you can show up for your community by offering people in crisis a place to stay,” the site reads. To offer up your space to displaced families, click here.
If you’ve been impacted by the wildfires, you can submit a request for emergency housing through a dedicated Airbnb website for the event.
6. Support World Central Kitchen
As important as it is to help displaced families, it’s equally as necessary to assist the firefighters and other emergency workers working tirelessly through these fires. By donating to World Central Kitchen, you can ensure they stay nourished and fed throughout the process.
7. Donate to The Latino Community Foundation
The 2020 Relief Fund Reactivation is designed to aid Latino-led organizations supporting families displaced by the current California wildfires. Donors have the choice to make one-off, monthly, quarterly, and yearly contributions.
Something to remember
As helpful as it may seem to go out and buy tons of non-perishables and clothing in an attempt to help survivors of the West Coast wildfires, doing so can sometimes overwhelm relief organizations. As such, be sure to check for what your organization of choice is looking for before making an unsought donation.
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