Even in donating, there’s a right way and a wrong way. Northern California is suffering the deadliest wildfire in state history, with more than 63 fatalities confirmed and hundreds more missing. But sending more supplies is no longer what is needed.
The wildfire, known as the Camp Fire, has scorched 142,000 acres in Northern California’s Butte County, while a separate fire in the southern part of the state has burned Ventura and Los Angeles counties. President Donald Trump approved disaster aid for the state, where nearly 12,000 structures have burned and more are at risk. The Camp fire was 45 percent contained as of Friday afternoon, according to Cal Fire.
Americans are rushing to donate supplies, food and clothes to help victims. But organizations including the American Red Cross and the Humane Society say victims need cash more than anything else. “We all want to help the victims of the #CampFire, but please don’t send supplies, as the evacuation centers say they have been inundated,” Darrell Steinberg, mayor of Sacramento, tweeted. (Sacramento is 90 miles away from the fires.)
Though Good Samaritans may feel the impulse to help people replace the possessions they lost in the fire, cash is actually the most useful type of assistance, charities said.