How To Support California Firefighters As They Battle Some Of The Deadliest Blazes In History
In the past several days, two wildfires in California have destroyed tens of thousands of acres of land, and have caused over 40 known fatalities. The Camp Fire in Northern California has become the deadliest fire in the state's history, and the Woolsey Fire has left thousands of people in the Los Angeles and Ventura areas without homes. And the scariest part is that the fires are still blazing. So you might want to know how to support California firefighters in the best way possible, as they continue to risk their lives battling these fires.
Of course, one of the easiest and most effective ways to support firefighters is to donate money to organizations that help fund and support firefighting resources in the area. From providing top-rate equipment to increasing the overall number of firefighters employed on a full-time basis, there are several organizations that exist exclusively to ensure that firefighters in California have what they need in order to do their jobs.
In the last few days, firefighters have been working shifts of 24 hours or more — and though they could certainly use donations of material objects like clothing and other supplies, donating cash might be the best thing you can do. Darren Dow, the vice president of Cal Fire Local 2881, the union that represents many of California’s state firefighters, said to Time, "A lot of times cash donations are better because they can actually utilize those dollars for specific needs rather than taking away some manpower."
Here are some organizations you can donate to on behalf of California firefighters:
The Los Angeles Fire Department Foundation
The Los Angeles Fire Department Foundation is currently providing support for firefighters who are still battling the Woolsey Fire. The organization works to provide "essential equipment, training, and public outreach programs to supplement city resources" on behalf of firefighters in the Los Angeles area.
The International Association of Fire Fighters' Disaster Relief Fund
The International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) welcomes donations to its disaster relief fund. The organization, which represents over 315,000 firefighters and responders, will then use your money to provide financial and emotional support to firefighters who are working on the front lines, along with their families as well.
California Fire Foundation
The California Fire Foundation is a nonprofit that's funded by California Professional Firefighters and offers support for firefighters, as well as for the families of firefighters who died while battling fires. Donations to the California Fire Foundation will help sustain emergency funding for firefighters' families, community improvement programs, and the continued maintenance of a statue dedicated to fallen firefighters in Sacramento.
The CDF Firefighters Benevolent Foundation
The CDF Firefighters Benevolent Foundation offers funding for injured and fallen firefighters and their families, as well as burn victims. Plus, it offers an easy option for donating: You can text "CalFireCDFF" to 91999.
GoFundMe For Camp Fire First Responders
The Camp Fire Firefighter Disaster Fund is a GoFundMe account that aims to raise $250,000 for the firefighters in Butte County, California, who have lost their homes or been otherwise affected by the fire.
The purpose of the GoFundMe page is to provide financial assistance to the 30-plus firefighters who will need to partially or fully rebuild their homes in the wake of the fire. The campaign has already raised over $12,000 from 116 people in three days.
Women, Orphans & Disabled Firemen's Fund
The Women, Orphans & Disabled Firemen's Fund is a nonprofit dedicated to helping the families of firefighters who were killed or injured in the line of duty. Contributions help to provide basic living expenses, health insurance, medical equipment, and scholarships for children of fallen firefighters, among other efforts.
Buy A Thrive Causemetics Product On Wednesday, Nov.14
On Wednesday, Nov. 14, Thrive Causemetics will donate 100 percent of profits from sales made on that day to a number of organizations providing relief, including the Los Angeles Fire Department Foundation and the American Red Cross. What's more, every time the image above is shared on social media and tagged with #ThriveCausemetics, an additional $5 will be donated to relief funds.
Resist Donating Material Items To Los Angeles-Based Fire Departments
In a statement on Sunday, the Los Angeles Fire Department requested that the public to not bring any more donated items to fire departments in the area. The statement read in part:
Sadly, we’re not only emotionally overwhelmed with your profound kindness during the Woolsey Fire, but logistically as well. To the point that the well-meaning donation of physical goods to firefighters is at the brink of causing harm.
[T]he physical donation of donated goods, including personal care items, food and water on the fireline, at command posts or neighborhood fire stations is thankfully NOT needed or desired at this time!
As firefighters continue to work night and day to contain the wildfires in California each time they occur, these foundations will always be readily available to provide aid for those brave workers. To learn more about what firefighters are doing on the front line each day, you can follow the LAFD Twitter account.