Ways to Help During Northwest Wildfires
Early fall in the Northwest is typically a wonderful season of crisp air and glorious colors. Usually it’s a great time for getting out into nature for end of season hiking and camping before the cold, rainy weather arrives. This year’s historic wildfires have put a quick end to our plans for outdoor activities with campground closures and hazardous air. Many people have lost their homes and whole towns have been destroyed. Thousands have been evacuated to shelters where they await uncertain news. Some of us are at home wondering how we can help our Northwest neighbors.
Rather than sending food and household items, consider making monetary donations which is easier for aid to be quickly distributed. Most donations to relief funds are also tax deductible.
American Red Cross is collecting donations for its three Oregon chapters. Donate online at redcross.org/donate or by phone (1-800-435-7669) or check designated for Oregon Wildfire Relief to American Red Cross, PO Box 37839, Boone, IA 50037-0839.
Northwest Response Fund was created in a joint effort by American Red Cross and news stations KGW8 (Portland) and KING-TV (Seattle). Text “relief” to 503-226-5088.
Salvation Army Cascade Division’s Emergency Disaster Services provides meals at evacuee locations. Donate online at salarmy.us/oregon-wildfires, by phone (1-800-SAL-ARMY), or check designated for Oregon Wildfire Relief to Salvation Army Disaster Relief, 8495 SE Monterey Ave, Happy Valley, OR 97086.
Southern Oregon Fire Relief fund was created by Rogue Credit Union to assist people impacted by the Almeda/Glendower and Obenchain fires. They will match up to $100,000 in donations to aid local nonprofits that are assisting impacted families and communities. Donate online at www.roguecu.org/community/donate.
United Way is collecting donations for several fire relief funds aid services for food relief, shelter assistance, child care and health care:
- United Way of Jackson County Fire Fund – Donate online at unitedwayofjacksoncounty.org or mail a check designated for wildlife relief to United Way of Jackson County, 60 Hawthorne St, Medford, OR 97504 or make a deposit at any First Interstate Bank.
- United Way of Lane County Wildfire Response Fund – Donate online at unitedwaylane.org or mail a check designated for wildfire relief to United Way of Lane County, 3171 Gateway Loop, Springfield, OR 97477.
- Mid-Valley Wildfire Relief Fund – Donate to United Way of Mid-Willamette Valley online at unitedwaymwv.org.
- Wildfire Response and Recovery Fund – Donate to United Way of the Columbia-Willamette at unitedway-pdx.org.
- Oregon Food Bank Network donations go to emergency supplies and support for local families, farmers and first responders. Donate online at oregonfoodbank.org.
Wildland Firefighter Foundation supports those on the frontlines to help injured firefighters and families of those killed in the line of duty. Donate online at wffoundation.org.
Clackamas Emergency Service Foundation created a wildfire relief fund to support first responders and those impacted by wildfires in Clackamas County. Donate online at cesf.us.
Keep Oregon Green donations support outreach efforts and public education about fire prevention. Donate online at keeporegongreen.org/contribute.
Some organizations are calling for donations of supplies for use at evacuation points. Check ahead to see what supplies are currently needed. www.clackamas.us/wildfires/help
There are agencies and evacuation sites in need of able volunteers to donate their time and skills.
American Red Cross needs help from licensed health professionals, blood donor support, shelter support and virtual positions.
Springfield High School, Marion County Fairground Evacuation Center, United Way of Mid-Willamette Valley and The Salvation Army in Clackamas, Marion and Lincoln counties need help unloading donations, traffic control, staging support and sanitation.
Those with livestock experience are needed for help with animal evacuation and care. Livestock and farm animals are being sheltered at Clark County Fairgrounds, Oregon State Fairgrounds, Polk County Fairgrounds, Yamhill County Fairgrounds and Livestock County Commons in Newport. Check in with the stables and farms in your area for assistance needs. If you find a displaced pet, call the Oregon Humane Society at 503-585-5900.
Be aware of the current evacuation levels in your area so that you can be prepared to leave if necessary. Also be aware of conditions in surrounding locations of Willamette Valley, Mt Hood, Central Oregon Coast and Southern Oregon and avoid traveling through areas with active fires. Check current road conditions at TripCheck.com.