As fires devoured whole neighborhoods in Wine Country, people further from the flames mobilized to help. Across the Valley, the Bay Area and beyond, feelings of helplessness were channeled into action.
Local restaurants donated and prepared food for evacuees. Schools transformed gymnasiums into shelters. Individuals filled boxes with clothing and toiletries. Churches stockpiled bottled water and other essentials. By week’s end, many charitable services were inundated, forced to refuse further in-kind donations.
But as a smoky dawn broke on the eighth day of the Wine Country wildfires, the tableau of destruction began to take shape. With huge swaths of the Valley cordoned off to through traffic, the scope of the disaster was still largely unknown. Rumor and conjecture created firestorms of their own, and local citizens found themselves still very much in need. According to spokespeople from various nonprofits, financial support is more useful than material donations at this time, but all manner of support is needed and welcome. Below is a list of resources for giving and getting help this week.
SHARE Sonoma County is arranging emergency home shares for displaced individuals. Hosts needed, as well as volunteers to answer phones. (1500 Petaluma Blvd. S., Petaluma, SHAREfire@petalumapeople.org)
El Pueblo Inn is offering free rooms to evacuees. (996-3651, elpuebloinn.com)
Airbnb is activating its Open Homes program and waving service fees; persons with spare rooms can register to become volunteer hosts. (airbnb.com)
California State Parks is opening coastal campsites to refugees at Bodega Dunes, Wrights Beach, and Salt Point. (parks.ca.gov/fireaide)
Redwood Empire Food Bank is asking for financial donations and non-perishable foods. (523-7900, 3990 Brickway Blvd, Santa Rosa, refb.org)
La Luz Center is offering free lunch (noon to 2 p.m.) and dinner (5 to 7 p.m.) all week. (938-5131, laluzcenter.org)
FISH is distributing groceries. (996-0111; 18330 Sonoma Highway; friendsinsonomahelping.org)
Fremont Diner is giving away coffee and donuts from 10 a.m. to noon. (938-7370, 2698 Fremont Drive, thefremontdiner.com)
Epicurean Connection is coordinating a “No Pay Café” at Sonoma Springs Community Hall, noon to 2 p.m. Volunteers needed. (18672 Sonoma Highway)
Harvest Moon Café is donating 40 percent of sales from prix fix dinners to Sonoma Rotary. (933-8160, 487 First St. W., harvestmooncafesonoma.com)
Sonoma United Methodist Church is collecting clothing and bedding for victims. (996-2151, 109 Patten St., sonomaumc.com)
United Way is accepting non-perishable donations. (975 Corporate Center Parkway, suite 160, Santa Rosa, unitedway.org.)
GoFundMe has a list of verified fire relief crowdfunding campaigns.
Rotary Sonoma is feeding hundreds each day, and expanding its efforts beyond triage. Non-monetary donations can be delivered to 1777 W. Watmaugh Road. Financial donations can be made online at http://goo.gl/sSLK6Y.
United Way of the Wine Country is accepting donations. (unitedwaywinecountry.org)
The Sonoma County Resilience Fund is accepting donations. (sonomacf.org/sonoma-county-resilience-fund)
Salvation Army NorCal Wildfire Fund is accepting donations. (salvationarmyusa.org)
The Red Cross is accepting donations. (redcross.org)
Redwood Credit Union will deploy 100 percent of donated funds directly to fire victims. (545-4000, P.O. Box 6104, Santa Rosa 95406, redwoodcu.org/NorthBayFireRelief)
Volunteer Center of Sonoma County is accepting both volunteers and financial support. (573-3399, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Services for Undocumented People
Graton Day Labor Center has established a fund to support undocumented families. (829-1864, 2981 Bowen St, Graton, 95444, gratondaylabor.org)