This shortness of breath and my burning eyes have left no discernible way to tell if the smoke or my experiences on the subject are to blame, but it informs upon the core truth of my approach to the matter at hand: this is going to be hard. On the morning of November 8th, a fire started just outside the retirement town of Paradise, CA. It’s been one week now, and 48 people are dead. 8,800 structures have been destroyed. 135,000 plus acres have been eviscerated by walls of flames 200 feet high, and in their wake 27,000 people have been displaced with 200 still unaccounted for. It is the deadliest, most destructive fire in California state history and it it isn’t even 50% contained.
I lived through the Carr Fire in Redding, CA this summer. I was blessed to see my home spared, but friends and co-workers weren’t so lucky. Men I had known professionally died trying to give those last few people a chance at reaching safety. A very dear friend of mine perished in the aftermath of that fire due to respiratory issues that stemmed from the heavy smoke that settled over the town, even weeks after containment. Those still able to work pulled extra shifts for those evacuated, we housed friends and co-workers, donated clothes and food and time in the hopes of showing that even with the whole world burning down around us, the warmth we all felt was from the compassion of our friends and neighbors, the love of common humanity radiating to us and through us in our most desperate hour.
There are innumerable ways to help the victims of the Camp Fire, the first and most obvious being to donate money. To put my money where my mouth is and keeping with the spirit that this is a Sacramento Kings blog, here’s mine:
Friday’s game against the Memphis Grizzlies I’m going to donate $5 for every three point shot that the Kings hit, and another $1 for every free throw.
I implore you to join me in donating money where it is needed most right now. If you can only give a lump sum, give a lump. $5 is not too small. $1 goddamn dollar will help somewhere along the way.
Here’s a list of places you can donate from the Sacramento Bee:
Butte County’s Camp Fire Information is directing donations to the North Valley Community Foundation – Camp Fire Evacuation Relief Fund: https://www.nvcf.org/fund/camp-fire-evacuation-relief-fund/
Other ways to donate:
- Caring Choices is accepting monetary donations here:http://www.caring-choices.org/wild-fire-donations.html
- The Red Cross and AT&T are partnering up: text CAWILDFIRES to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
- The Salvation Army: https://deloro.salvationarmy.org/del_oro/camp-fire-response
- United Way of Northern California Relief Fund: To donate text BUTTEFIRE to 91999, or visit https://www.norcalunitedway.org/civicrm/contribute/transact?reset=1&id=2 and select “Camp Fire Relief”
- Santa Barbara-based Direct Relief has donated more than 100,000 N-95 breathing masks, the group says. It has also made other shipments of emergency breathing equipment. Donations at www.directrelief.org/emergency/california-wildfires/.
- GoFundMe has created a roundup of campaigns to raise money for victims at https://www.gofundme.com/cause/californiafires
- The Islamic Center of Chico is taking donations to purchase cash cards to distribute to Paradise wildfire victims: https://www.launchgood.com/project/camp_fire_victim_relief_fund#!/
If money is tight right now (it is only a month and 10 days before Christmas), there are other ways to help.
Carmichael Dave and KHTK are organizing supplies to be driven up to Butte County.
We will be heading up to the Chico wal-Mart where I was yesterday. I highly suggest you bring a mask.— Carmichael Dave (@CarmichaelDave) November 15, 2018
If you can’t drive up, you can go to the studios to drop off supplies between now and 5, and between 5:30 and 10 tomorrow. They will store them
Here’s what we need:— Carmichael Dave (@CarmichaelDave) November 15, 2018
- new socks
- new gloves
- new underwear (men and women)
- gift cards
- sleeping bags
I also need someone on the ground up there who can direct us elsewhere if they need help, and who can narrow the list to true immediate essentials
From CBS’s Sacramento Affliate website:
- Rocklin Police Officers’ Association is collecting new items for fire victims at 4060 Rocklin Road. Monetary donations can be made to their PayPal account: email@example.com
- Law enforcement and firefighters are currently in need of water and portable snacks.
- NorCal Boy Scout Shop in Chico: They’re accepting water, non-perishable food items, pet food, new, unopened toys, and clean, unused blankets. Address: 3881 Benatar Way Ste. D, Chico.
- The UC Davis Fire Department is collecting new and lightly used items that can help to meet the most critical needs of people and animals, some of whom have lost everything. A list of supplies needed can be found on their website. The agency is accepting donations until 7 p.m. Nov. 14. Donations can be dropped off at the fire station.
- The Davis Police Officers Association, in cooperation with the Davis Joint Unified School District and Butte County Office of Education, are starting a drive to collect items that fire victims currently can’t get access to. Items can be dropped off at the Davis Police Station.
- Supplies needed include:
- New children’s clothes, girls and boys ages 1-7; New towels
- New socks; New clothing for senior citizens
- Basic toiletries; Gift cards for Target, Walmart or CVS
From the Sacramento Bee:
- The Butte County Fairgrounds in Gridley need these donations: New towels, and new clothing in all sizes, including shoes, undergarments, sweatshirts and bras. They do not currently need food or water.
- The Yuba-Sutter Fairgrounds in Yuba City are in need of pet food and supplies (collars, leashes), cat litter, food bowls for animals and hay for livestock. These can be dropped off at the livestock area of the fairgrounds.
- The Yuba-Sutter Habitat For Humanity in Marysville is accepting material donations like clothing and shoes. Address: 202 D St., Marysville, CA 95901
- The Sutter Fire Department, is taking donations of paper cups, paper plates, paper towels, animal food, new jackets, new coats, and bottled water. Address: 2340 California St., Sutter, CA 95982
- Hope Center in Oroville is taking donations of warm clothes, shoes, socks, and coats (primarily for elderly residents). Address: 1950 Kitrick Ave Ste A, Oroville, CA 95966
Please consider donating your money, your time, your clothing to help those victims in need. I moved to Sacramento this fall, leaving my hometown scorched and picking up the pieces, swearing that I’d find more ways to help when the time was right.