TAKE ACTION: How you can help North Bay fire victims

EMBED </>More Videos

There are many ways to help with the North Bay fire relief efforts. Here are some simple things you can do to make an impact right now, and in the days and weeks to come. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

Wildfires have devastated communities in California, killing dozens of people, forcing evacuations and burning homes to the ground as they scorch tens of thousands of acres.

If you would like to help those affected by the fires, here's what you should keep in mind.

Donate to the Red Cross

You can donate directly to the Red Cross by clicking here.

Offer help right now

Facebook has launched its crisis center for several areas affected by the fire. There, you can see the specific requests for help that individuals are asking for and coordinate with them to meet their needs.

Donating Blood

Officials at the Blood Centers of the Pacific report the Santa Rosa and Napa centers were temporarily closed due to fires, road closures, and poor air quality. All mobile blood drives in the area were also cancelled. Because of this, they say it's extremely important for donors elsewhere to continue making and keeping their appointments. For immediate updates, follow the Blood Centers of the Pacific on social media.

Bay Area animal charities

Humane Society of Sonoma County, 5345 CA-12. (Santa Rosa)
Humane Society of Napa County, 3265 California Blvd. (Napa)
Yuba-Sutter SPCA, 745 Sutter St. (Yuba)

Local fundraisers

These local organizations are helping the victims of the California wildfires:

Sandwiches for FireFighters

Jewish Community Foundation - North Bay Wildfire Emergency Fund

RYSE Center (Richmond) Collecting Gift Cards 7 Face Masks ONLY
California Immigrant Youth Justice Alliance

Bay Area Athletes create Helping Victims of the Napa Fires Fund

Hayward-Castro Valley Moose Lodge, 20835 Rutledge Road in Castro Valley

Cal State East bay donation collections and distribution: Donations will be accepted in SF 318 on the Hayward campus Oct. 16-19 from 11 a.m.- 1 p.m. each day.

Bodega Bay Needs Donations

Fort Point Beer Company

The Napa Deli (Fairfield)

RedWood Credit Union

Sonoma County Resilience Fund

United Way of the Wine Country

Sonoma Valley Fire Support

Redwood Credit Union Fund to help victims of the 2017 North Bay fires

Mezzanine Fire Relief Donation Drop-off Point

Safari West Employee Recovery Fund

Monetary donations can be made through the Napa Valley Community Foundation.
Latino Community Foundation Northern California Wildfires Relief Fund

North Bay Fire Relief

National fundraisers

These national organizations are helping the victims of the California wildfires:

The American Red Cross has set up a wildfire relief page with a donation box for its Disaster Relief Fund at the bottom.
GoFundMe has curated a page of wildfire fundraising campaigns that address different areas of need.

Give cash, not supplies
Most charities prefer monetary donations, especially if you do not live near the affected area. These are more flexible and cause less of a strain on the charity, allowing them to help more, USAID explained.

"Unlike material donations, cash involves no transportation costs, shipping delays, or customs fees. It also enables relief organizations to spend more time providing aid by spending less time managing goods," the organization explained on its website.

If you are able to personally deliver supplies to charities, look for items they specifically request.

Check the charity

Before you donate to a charity, make sure you know where your aid is going. The Center for International Disaster Information recommends checking with a charity monitoring organization like GiveWell, Charity Navigator, Charity Watch, or the Better Business Bureau before donating.

Make sure your donation is secure by going through an organization's official website or sending a check in the mail. Charity Navigator says you should never donate over the phone, email or unknown social media pages, as these are easier for scammers to target.

Check back with this page for updates with more ways to help.

Related Topics:
donationscharitiesvolunteerismsocietywildfirefireNorth Bay FiresCalifornia