VENTURA, Calif. (KABC) -- Actor Zachary Levi uttered "what can I do?" as he watched the Thomas Fire engulf Ventura County, destroying hundreds of homes along the way.
The television and film star has a deep connection to Ventura - it's where he grew up. So he decided he'd try to make a difference.
"My heart breaks for these people," Levi said.
As he watched the continuing news coverage, he was essentially watching some of his childhood burn down.
"I actually have friends," he said, "I went to their homes - they're gone. My friends' homes, or my friends' parents' homes are completely leveled. They're burned to the ground. Some of them are fortunate enough to have fire insurance. Many people haven't been that fortunate."
Levi decided to visit Ventura to survey some of the destruction firsthand and see that hundreds of homes were gone.
He knew then he had to do something to help. So he started a GoFundme page, promising to match up to $50,000 to help people in Ventura County affected by the tragedy.
The goal has been reached and is still climbing. Levi is donating the first $50,000 to raklife.org, which stands for Random Acts of Kindness Life. One of his best friends from high school happens to be involved with the group.
"And he's already identifying, like, 50 different families who need help right now," Levi said. "And so I want to cut off of a check to them. That 50-grand match is going straight to them so they can go and help get roofs over their heads, clothes on their backs, food in their stomachs, toys under their trees, trees to have toys under."
Levi said the money he'll be doling out is for whatever people feel they need to help start over. You can donate at gofundme.com/zacharylevi.
"Trust me," he said. "Trust me with your money. My intention is to get as much cash as I can and know that if you give it to my GoFundMe, I have friends on the ground who know the people in Ventura who need those finances."
Levi told us whether you can offer - money or a prayer - now is the time to do it.
Ventura native Zachary Levi creates GoFundMe to help Thomas Fire victims
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