While we housesellers, like most Southern California residents, were thankful to be able to enjoy some of the lushest and greenest vegetation and landscapes in many years due to the intense rains in late 2016 and much of the first half of 2017 that greatly helped balance out some of the devastating effects that the multi-year drought had on our region, the hottest Summer on record in California has reversed much of that and has dried out much of that new greenery and turned the area, once again, into a dry tinderbox. The Santa Ana winds have been ferocious and the fires that have been raging the past week have been staggering and devastating to many of our friends, neighbors, family and associates. We know many of you are trying to figure out ways to help those affected so we put together a list (pulled from various sources) of ways you can help. Please note that much of the focus is on the Ventura County fires as they are, by far, the most dangerous, but the resources below will give you information regarding all of the current fire danger areas as well as any new situations that may arise as the Santa Ana winds continue to be unrelenting.

Donating money is certainly one of the easiest and most direct ways to help:  

United Way chapters in both Los Angeles and Ventura counties have established fire relief funds for communities hit by the blazes. Donations can be made online at the links above.

The Red Cross, which is operating multiple evacuation centers in LA County, is accepting donations through its website or by text. To make a contribution, text REDCROSS to 90999.

The Salvation Army, now providing food and supplies to evacuees in Ventura County, is also requesting donations, which can be made online or by phone (1 800 SAL ARMY).

If you’d like to have a better idea of exactly where your contribution is going, both GoFundMe and YouCaring have grouped their crowdfunding campaigns related to the fires.

Catholic Charities of Los Angeles is accepting donations as well as clothing or Christmas presents for those who have lost belongings in the fire.

You may feel like you want to donate your time:

The Red Cross accepts volunteer applications on its website year-round, and it’s a great way to get involved in your community during times of need. If you want to get involved immediately, you can go up to Ventura County where the United Way, Red Cross and the Sheriff's Department are teaming up to place individual volunteers in places where their efforts will have the most impact.

Once the fire is contained, volunteer opportunities will be posted to the United Way of Ventura County’s website and social media accounts.

As of today, you can also call L.A. County at 2-1-1 to find out which agencies are accepting donations of both time and money.

The nonprofit organization L.A. Kitchen is preparing meals for firefighters and displaced victims. For shift times, please visit their Facebook page.

You can also donate supplies:

The Salvation Army Ventura Corps is asking for food and water donations for evacuees at the Ventura County Fairgrounds.

A list of evacuation centers and animal shelters accepting donations of food, water and other supplies for the Creek Fire victims can be found here.