North Bay Fires - A Roundup of Where to Help

Thu, 10/19/2017 - 1:14pm -- judyzimola
Here's a roundup of our Facebook postings and emails (edited to include only the information that is still pertinent) since the North Bay fires started almost two weeks ago. We do our best to vet the listings to make sure you're getting up-to-date information. The rapidly-changing nature of the needs has slowed down somewhat, but it's best to contact or visit the website of any of these organizations to ensure your time and money is being spent in the most effective way.
On a side note . . .
It's unfortunate that, along with people's awesomeness, disasters also bring out the not-so-great in people. This week I got two phone calls claiming they were collecting funds to aid fire fighters and victims. I declined, saying I was being careful with my money, and that I would look up their organization online and donate that way. Both turned out to have a rating of zero on Charity Navigator.

Thank you for all your help. Cleanup and organization of the disaster will be a long-term effort, so stay tuned and take care of yourselves.

Thursday, October 19 - Rebuilding Together Petaluma calls for volunteers on October 21 
Via Jane Hamilton, Executive Director of Rebuilding Together Petaluma:
Rebuilding Together Petaluma is standing by to help with mobilizing volunteers as needed now and as the situation develops. 
At this point, RTP is still planning to hold the October 21 workday. It may become something different than home repair, depending on what is needed but no matter what the work is, we will need volunteers. Please register and we will stay in touch.

Wednesday, October 18 - Call for long-term home rental from Congregation Shomrei Torah
We received this from Rabbi Stephanie Kramer and Rabbi George Gittleman, Congregation Shomrei Torah. Thank you for taking time to read and consider their request:
Before the fires, there was already a housing crisis in Sonoma County. Now, with thousands of homes destroyed by the fires, the situation is dire and the need immediate.
We can't undo the trauma, and we can't rebuild people's lives, but we can put roofs over their heads. If you have a vacation home in Sonoma or Napa County or near the impacted areas, consider housing people for a year or two (charging rent or not) who have been displaced. We can choose to carry a little bit of the burden so that those who have lost everything can have the thing they need the most.
Temporary housing or rooms in someone’s homes are not needed at this time, only long term rentals. If you have a home you might be willing to rent to a nice family please email [email protected].
Tuesday, October 17 - Email to congregants with a roundup of places to volunteer, donate, and participate, including a link to sign up to donate blood on our Mitzvah Day on October 29
Bay Marin Community Church, our neighbor down the street, is a distribution site as well as a place to volunteer.
Sonoma County Recovers is a great place for the most up-to-date information.
MarinCares in Sausalito is posting frequent notices via their Facebook page, and is a distribution site.
SFEater is a lively roundup of everything from donation points to fundraiser dinners.
Jewish Family and Children's Services is coordinating housing. Contact JFCS for help at 707.303.1500 or email [email protected]. If you can house evacuees, please sign up by filling out this form and a JFCS staff person will contact you to follow up. 
New or gently used non-scary Halloween costumes are being sought by recovery agencies helping families in Napa and Sonoma. Sizes requested are toddler up to XL for teens. Items needed by October 24. Please put costumes in the bins in the Rodef Sholom lobby.

Saturday, October 14 - Roundup of places to volunteer and donate
Redwood Empire Food Bank – Monetary as well as nonperishable food donations (3990 Brickway Blvd, Santa Rosa) 
Community Foundation Sonoma County Resilience Fund 

Please do not go directly to shelters to volunteer – register first.
Sign up with the Center for Volunteer and Nonprofit Leadership. Make sure to say yes to “Contact me in the event of a disaster.”