North Bay Fires: What's Been Done, What You Can Do

Thu, 10/26/2017 - 6:25pm -- judyzimola

The immediate crises of the terrible fires that claimed lives, homes, businesses, and livelihoods in the North Bay has abated. The amount of time and dollars contributed by individual members of our congregation and groups of volunteers has been generous and gracious, embodying the essense of our shema statement as, through work and innate compassion, we connect with Jewish values, with each other, and with our world.

In the first few days, we:

• collected gift cards to be distributed through CVNL totaling $4500

• cooked and delivered four days of lunches for 60-80 people at Shomrei Torah,

• sent staff and volunteer congregants up to help with their day care and day camp

• hosted the NFTY weekend for 150 teens, originally slated to take place at Camp Newman.

Our sixth graders held a bake sale to raise money, and congregants provided short term housing for those affected by the fire. We are adding fire relief projects to Mitzvah Day, including decorating 100 teddy bears and assembling care packages.

We've moved beyond the most acute needs. Headlines are focusing on other large-scale topics, so it's more important than ever not to let the emergency slide from our thoughts and efforts. There are scads of fun ways to contribute to fire relief: restaurants, artists, and events are donating proceeds to help with ongoing needs.

The 7x7 website has a page dedicated mostly to bars and events that will donate. Scroll down their page for more lists and participants.

The week of November 13-19 is ChefsGiving week all around the Bay Area. Participating restaurants will donate proceeds to fire relief.

The Press Democrat has a comprehensive list that includes events, organizations, and retails places (markets, wineries, even a hair salon) that are helping out.

Band Together Bay Area, a coalition that includes Google, Kaiser Permanente, Marc and Lynne Benioff, the San Francisco Giants, Levi Strauss Foundation and others, is hosting a concert on Nov. 9 at AT&T Park, featuring Metallica, Dave Matthews, G-Eazy and other artists.

The work continues. Stay kind.