Southern California Wildfires: How You Can Help the Victims

Pam Wright
Published: December 7, 2017

Hundreds of thousands of Southern California residents have been forced to flee their homes as Santa Ana wind-fueled wildfires tear through the region, destroying hundreds of homes and threatening thousands more.

As residents come to grips with the loss of their homes and possessions and others remain fearful that the same fate awaits them, people are looking for ways to help.

Here are a few ways you can help the victims:

Thomas Fire Relief Fund

The United Way of Ventura County has teamed up with the American Red Cross and the Ventura County Sheriff's set up a relief fund to help the victims of the Thomas fire. You can donate by texting UWVC to 4144 or by visiting their website. 

You can also send checks with "Thomas Fire Fund" in the memo line to 702 County Square Drive, Suite 100 Ventura, CA 93003.

One-hundred percent of donations will go to the fund.

James and Josie Ralstin carry belongings from their Ventura, Calif., home as flames from a wildfire consume another residence on Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017. The couple evacuated early Tuesday morning as the fire approached, but returned to retrieve medications and other property.
(AP Photo/Noah Berger)
American Red Cross 

The American Red Cross is accepting donations for the victims of the fires. To donate, you can text REDCROSS to 90999, visit the website or call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

The organization is also accepting applications for volunteers on its website

Salvation Army of Ventura County

The Salvation Army says its greatest need for the communities affected by the fire is monetary donations. They are also asking for masks. To donate, visit their website or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY. All donations will go to fire victims. 

Catholic Charities

For families displaced by the fires, Catholic Charities is accepting donations of new toys and clothing to be given as Christmas gifts to families displaced by the fires. Donations can be dropped off at Catholic Charities' Ventura Community Services Center at 303 N. Ventura Ave. Ventura, CA 93001.

Financial donations can be made to the Catholic Charities website.

The Humane Society of Ventura

The organization devoted to the well-being of animals is accepting financial donations through their website. They are also in need of alfalfa hay to feed large animals affected by the fires. 

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