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There is still much to do for long-term recovery from these fires. 100% of your gift will be used for wildfire recovery!
Dangerous wildfires have burned in multiple counties throughout Northern California. The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services deployed multiple teams to provide meals and more at several locations where people were evacuated and where first responders were working. After providing initial response services, we focused on providing meals and emotional and spiritual care to residents entering repopulated areas.
In all, The Salvation Army has provided more than 150,000 meals and over $100,000 worth of gift cards and other needed items.
In week six of wildfire relief, we have shifted our focus from relief to long-term recovery. We will continue to provide services into the aftermath of the fires, for as long as we are needed.
During the thick of the wildfires, our teams served at nearly a dozen sites in Santa Rosa, Napa, Grass Valley, and Solano and Butte Counties.
We continue to assess the situation daily and provide additional services as needed.
The Salvation Army has been extremely busy during this time - serving over 85,000 meals, passing out over $60,000 in Gift cards, giving 40,000 pounds of material goods away, and much more. While these are large numbers we understand that it is but a drop in the bucket compared to the need our city faces. We are currently shifting our focus from emergency care to long-term recovery and are actively working out how we can best use our resources to meet the needs that face our community.
Butte County Fires included the Honey, Cherokee and LaPorte Fires, all burning during the same time. All of which were less than a month following the Ponderosa Fire, and less than 2 months following the Wall Fire. When you take into consideration that we began the year with our Spillway Crisis at the Dam and have had five fires since – it has been a busy disaster services year in Oroville/Butte County. Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea indicated that he believes that Butte County may well be the “most evacuated county” in California this year.
For the most recent three fires, we had a mobile kitchen feeding at the Evacuation Center (Oro Naz Church), and also delivered meals to the first responders at a different location twice as well as delivered cases of water and a 40 lb. bag of dog food to a “safe haven” for displaced animals.
Our team was at the Local Assistance Center assisting those affected for two full days, where we helped with gift cards for household and food items as well as vouchers to the thrift store. We also did Christmas Signups for the people in the community of Bangor ( which was the hardest hit). Power was out for nearly 10 days – even those whose homes were saved lost everything in their fridges and freezers.
One couple whom we served had a wonderful, grateful attitude and spirit. Our team got to know them very well at the shelter. They thought that Salvation Army food was 4-star restaurant quality. The husband, George, was more concerned about helping his neighbors than he was for himself.
In all, we served hundreds of meals and helped many people. In addition to our staff, we also had 10 Volunteers who gave 46.5 hours of service.
The Salvation Army does not place an administrative fee on disaster donations. 100% of your gift will be used in support of our relief efforts. It may be used to provide food and drinks to survivors, cleaning supplies and other essential commodities, direct financial aid to those effected, or to support disaster relief workers serving in the area.
Donate by Mail:
The Salvation Army – Western Territory
PO Box 80066
Prescott, AZ 86304-8066
(Please designate "Northern California Fires" on all checks.)
Donate by Phone:
Call 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769)
Here are just a few comments from our donors who have made secure, online donations toward wildfire relief and recovery. We are touched and inspired by the kindness and generosity of our donors!
"We've recently gone through Hurricane Irma and have been dealing with clean up for months but nothing like what I've seen in CA. It breaks my heart to see the damage.” - Gave $100
"Bless the people affected by the Northern California Wildfires and help them get back on their feet.” - Gave $500
"I have friends who lost everything!” - Gave $100
"I have decided to give a portion of my tithing to the Salvation Army this year in response to all the people who have been affected by natural disasters.” - Gave $115
"I feel blessed with whatever I have and wish to help others who have lost everything.” - Gave $1,000
"Something is better than nothing.” - Gave $5
"I'm a retired fire captain and I understand the needs when a family loses their home.” - Gave $500
"The Lord NEVER abandons us. He is with us, strengthening, consoling, leading us on, carrying us if need be.” - Gave $20
"It’s the least we can do for those who lost so much in the horrendous fires. Our hearts go out to all the victims of the fires.” - Gave $400
Captain Ray talks about his own evacuation and immediately starting to serve people in Sonoma County.
The Salvation Army helps meet the needs of disaster survivors in a variety of ways.
As one of the nation's major emergency relief organizations, The Salvation Army recognizes the critical importance of being prepared for natural and manmade disasters. Therefore, we take steps to ensure our own ability to respond quickly and efficiently to a disaster, while also working to educate other disaster professionals and the public at large about how to prepare for and respond to emergency situations.
Immediate Emergency Response
Emergency response services are activated on short notice according to an agreed-upon notification procedure coordinated with federal, state and local governments. Typically, Salvation Army personnel and resources will congregate at predetermined staging areas, entering the impacted area only once government first responders have indicated that it is safe and constructive to do so. These immediate response activities include food and hydration services, shelter, cleanup and emergency communication assistance to put victims in touch with their loved ones.
Long-Term Disaster Recovery
Depending on the magnitude of the disaster, The Salvation Army may continue providing immediate response services, such as emergency shelter and food service, well into the recovery process. Additionally, The Salvation Army will often coordinate with local, state and federal entities to develop and execute long-term strategic disaster recovery plans. These activities include restoration and rebuilding initiatives, disaster social services (to address essential living needs, medical expenses or funeral costs) and in-kind donation distribution to disaster victims.
Spiritual and Emotional Care
Throughout the duration and aftermath of a major disaster, The Salvation Army provides spiritual comfort and emotional support upon request to victims and emergency workers coping with the stress of a catastrophe. Salvation Army counselors, who are often ordained as clergy (officers), may simply offer a "ministry of presence," but often people who know about The Salvation Army as representatives of God may ask for prayer or help from the Bible. Disaster relief and recovery services are provided to all in need without discrimination.