Almost all organizations and agencies that are providing relief and support to the wildfire victims are requesting that donations be made in the form of cash or gift cards and not physical items due to the overwhelming response from county residents and others.
Many private and voluntary fund raising efforts have sprung up through social media GoFundMe accounts and through various organizations. The funds and resources listed here are well-established with a proven track record of direct support for natural disaster victims. Most are eligible for tax-free donations.
North Bay Fire Relief
P.O. Box 6104, Santa Rosa, CA 95406
This fund is managed by the Redwood Credit Union Community Fund in partnership with State Senator Mike McGuire and the Santa Rosa Press Democrat. It was first organized in response to the Lake County Valley Fire in 2015 and collected $2.7 million for that disaster. One hundred percent of all donations will be given directly to fire victims needs and support for first responders. All donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law. At the beginning of this week over $4 million already had been donated.
American Red Cross
707-577-7600 5297 Aero Drive, Santa Rosa,
The local chapter of the Red Cross staffed many of the first evacuation centers in Sonoma County and continue to provide supplies and services to all fire victims. Tax-free donations can be designated for North Bay Wildfire victims or given to the national organization which continues to support hurricane victims in Puerto Rico and elsewhere.
United Way of the Wine Country
707-528-4485 975 Corporate Center Parkway, Suite 160, Santa Rosa, CA. 95407
The local United Way chapter has set up a designated fund for fire relief donations. The City of Santa Rosa has designated the United Way chapter as a preferred partner in their relief efforts for its citizens.
Redwood Empire Food Bank
www.refb.org 707-523-7900 3990 Brickway Blvd. Santa Rosa, CA. 95403
The regional food bank is requesting cash donations be made in lieu of food item donations. Non-perishable foods such as canned goods and sealed baby foods are still being accepted at its main location near the county airport. Volunteers should register through the Sonoma County Volunteer Center (www.volunteernow.org.)
The Salvation Army
707-542-0981 93 Stony Circle, Santa Rosa
The local chapter of the Salvation Army is operating several evacuation centers in Sonoma, Napa and Solana counties and is requesting donations of non-perishable food items be dropped off at any of the centers. (Check the website for a list as some locations may close or be consolidated with others.)
Volunteer Center of Sonoma County
707-573-3399 153 Stony Circle #100, Santa Rosa, CA. 95401
The Volunteer Center is the clearinghouse for nearly all volunteer efforts including staffing the evacuation centers, food bank volunteers and other programs. Individuals can register by name, contact information and specific skills or interests via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. “It’s very possible you will get a call,” said Kiersten Elzy-Loving, community events organizer for the center. “We need a deep well of help and support. I keep reminding everyone this is a marathon not a sprint and we will be at this for not just days and weeks, but possibly years.” Besides evacuation center help, people with computer skills, phone bank experience and bilingual skills are needed. “The heavier lifting really hasn’t started yet,” Elzy-Loving said.
2-1-1 Sonoma County
Telephone 2-1-1 or visit www.211sonoma.org for updated lists of volunteer needs and available services
Disaster Healthcare Volunteers
This statewide agency is seeking healthcare professionals and trained volunteers to register for later contact. Local healthcare workers can also contact Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital’s job line at 707-525-5300 ext 5105 for both volunteer duties and paid positions.
Humane Society of Sonoma County
5345 Highway 12, Santa Rosa (east of Sebastopol) and Healdsburg Animal Shelter
Response to the wildfire disaster inundated the animal shelters with food and blankets. Officials are now requesting only cash or gift card donations be made which can be dropped off at the central or Healdsburg location.
Sonoma County Animal Services
707-565-7100 1247 Century Ct., Santa Rosa, CA. 95403.