Posted: Wednesday, Dec 13th, 2017
Thomas Fire: Even more ways to help
by Visit VenturaIt feels almost impossible to overstate the amount of love and support our community continues to receive from near and far. In Ventura, businesses, friends and neighbors are all working together to ensure everybody is taken care of and that no one feels alone. Thomas Fire: The best ways to help lists ideas and below are even more. Thank you for everything you’re doing to keep #VenturaStrong. Open your home to somebody displaced by the fire. AirBNB offers a way to provide emergency shelter for free to evacuees. Or, contact County Supervisor Steve Bennett’s office at (805) 654-2703. Or register at ThomasFireHelp.com.
VOLUNTEERIt’s only two weeks until Christmas and many families have lost their holiday ornaments and gifts. Throughout the week from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m,. the Museum of Ventura County invites everyone to their pavilion for ornament decorating and other crafts. People are welcome to bring ornaments to be repurposed and shared. They will also have complimentary snacks and water, and play family-friendly movies for the kiddos. Head down and experience the best of our community. The Red Cross has an urgent need for volunteers. Volunteer positions vary from shelter work to casework to donation management. Register as a volunteer at RedCross.org/volunteer. Iron and Resin has launched an initiative called Help California and is taking over the space adjacent to their Ventura store as a pop-up command post and distribution center to provide aid and assistance to community members. They have a full-time volunteer team coordinating efforts behind the Iron and Resin store. They’re sending multiple strike teams out daily to help residents making a stand and empowering neighbors to help their neighbors. Once they’re able to get into some of the areas already burned, they will also assist with cleanup and recovery efforts. They need help sorting and distributing relief items, canvassing affected neighborhoods to assess needs, and assisting families with cleanup and recovery efforts. If you’d like to volunteer please contact Taylor@ironandresin.com. More information is available at www.gofundme.com/iron-resin-relief-california or on their Instagram page: @helpcalifornia. World Central Kitchen works to provide healthy food to families and individuals touched by disasters. World Central Kitchen aims to provide well over a thousand meals to residents on a daily basis. The work has kept the organization busy. The largely volunteer-based program has participants chopping and cooking ingredients and packaging food and delivering finished meals to a variety of shelters. For more information on volunteering, please visit their Facebook page. The Masonic Lodge is looking for volunteers to help with donation management. Visit them from 10:00am-6:00pm beside the Ventura Visitor Center for more information.
DISASTER RELIEF TRAININGAmerican Red Cross Camarillo Chapter will be offering 23.5 hours of in-class courses in Disaster Cycle Services this coming weekend. The classes are scheduled to take place at the Ventura County Community Foundation located at 4001 Mission Oaks Boulevard. If you would like to respond to the latest devastation stretching across Southern California, your first step is to register as a volunteer at RedCross.org/volunteer. The process should take around 15 minutes and then you’ll be able to log in and register for training on the calendar. Friday, December 15 8:30am – 10:30am : Disaster Cycle Services: An Overview 8:30am – 10:30am : Casework 8:30am – 12:00pm : Bulk Distribution Operations 10:45am – 12:00pm : Everyone is Welcome 10:45am – 12:00pm : Red Cross Fundamentals 1:00pm – 4:30pm : Shelter Fundamentals 1:00pm – 4:30pm : Logistics Overview 1:00pm – 4:30pm : Feeding Fundamentals Saturday, December 16 8:30am – 10:30am : Disaster Cycle Services Overview 8:30am – 12:00pm : Emergency Response Vehicle 8:30am – 12:00pm : Psychological First Aid 10:30am – 11:30am : Everyone is Welcome 1:00pm – 4:30pm : Shelter Fundamentals 1:00pm – 4:30pm : Red Cross Fundamentals 1:00pm – 4:30pm : Psychological First Aid Sunday, December 17 8:30am – 10:30am : Disaster Cycle Services Overview 8:30am – 12:00pm : Emergency Response Vehicle 8:30am – 4:30pm : Supply Fundamentals 10:45am – 12:00pm : Everyone is Welcome 1:00pm – 4:30pm : Casework 1:00pm – 4:30pm : Feeding Fundamentals
IN-KIND DONATIONSDonations at Red Cross shelters or operation base camps are not encouraged at this time and food needs are largely taken care of. The Masonic Lodge in Downtown Ventura is accepting donations of new items until 12/22. They are in need of the following new items:
- Clothing: towels, kitchen items, cleaning, dishes and pillows, blankets etc.
- Baby items: Diapers, wipes, strollers etc.
- Tools: work gloves, shovels, racks, etc.
- Computers, printers, paper
FUNDRAISERSFor years and long before the Thomas Fire, Ventura City Fire has been committed to making a difference in our community through the Ventura Fire Foundation. Support their efforts by buying a Ribbons of Life shirt at the Ventura Visitor Center. 100% of profits benefit Ventura County. The Ventura Humane Society is hosting a fundraiser at Red Brick Pizza. A portion of all sales will go to help the Ventura Humane Society this Thursday, 12/14, from 11 am – 9:30 pm. The First United Methodist Church is hosting a Piano Concert this Sunday, 12/14. Pianists of Ventura will dedicate each song to both our community members who were affected and those who helped our city survive through this tragedy. Donations will benefit families who were affected by the Thomas Fire. The Downtown Ventura Lion’s Club has organized Comedy Jam’s #VenturaStrong benefit at the Ventura Comedy Club on 12/14 at 8:00pm. Admission is free with a donation to the Thomas Fire Fund. Topa Topa Brewing Co. is hosting “A Helping Hootenanny” on Saturday, 12/16, from 12 PM – 6 PM, There will be local vendors, live music, food trucks, silent auction, games, and spirit-lifting to benefit those affected by the Thomas Fire. Downtown Ventura is encouraging you to purchase Ventura Strong merchandise that fully benefits a legitimate relief fund, as well as purchase gift cards from your favorite businesses. Downtown businesses are also donating gift cards to create a gift card raffle that will take place in-stores for $5 a piece starting Friday, Dec. 15 through Thursday, Dec. 21, to benefit those affected by the Thomas Fire. Ventura Visitor Center will be selling raffle tickets.
CASH DONATIONSCash donations are truly the most efficient way to help. There are several established, verified funds with 100% of the profits going to those impacted by the Thomas Fire. Please see Thomas Fire: The best ways to help for more information on where to give.
HELPFUL TIPSWhile there are many other charities at work, the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office reminds residents that charity scams often follow disasters. If you are asked to make a charitable donation to help people in disaster-affected areas, consider these tips: Donate to charities you know and trust; be alert for charities that seem to have sprung up overnight; do not give out personal or financial information unless you know the charity is reputable; never send cash by mail; be suspicious of random calls requesting a donation; be cautious about clicking on links in emails requesting a donation; check out a charity before you donate by contacting the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance online or at 703-276-0100; and, call the Ventura Police non-emergency number if you suspect a scam at (805) 650-8010.
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