As firefighters work to fully contain the Woolsey Fire, Santa Claritans are eager to help the fire’s victims — and local places are eager for their donations, especially monetary ones and pet supplies.
Human fire victims need more monetary donations than other material items such as used clothing, said Salvation Army Santa Clarita Valley Corps envoy Laura Bloom.
Residents can make checks out to the Salvation Army chapter and ensure their funds get to their designated destination.
“There is no place to store those sorts of things,” Bloom said. “I know people have good intent, but there is a storage issue because the fire victims have nowhere to go. They have nowhere to keep those things. What they do need is access to temporary housing and funds to buy new items.
“We have such a giving community, and it’s a good thing, but we have to be real. We need money,” she said. “These victims have issues with insurance and need different necessities. Clearing out your household to help them won’t actually contribute.”
Santa Clarita residents who want to directly contribute can write a check out to the local Salvation Army chapter and specify in the memo section that it’s going to the Southern California fire, Bloom said.
As long as they specify the intent of the check as such, it will definitely go toward helping the fire victims, she said.
“If people are specific about where it is supposed to go, the Salvation Army is very accountable about making sure the money stays local if the issuer wants it that way,” she said. “Donations usually go to the national headquarters unless you make it out to the Santa Clarita Valley chapter and say that you want to help the Southern California fire victims specifically. Then it will get relayed to the Southern California Salvation Army donation center and we make sure we’re helping those victims.”
Castaic Animal Care Center
Local residents also have the option of helping the animal population affected by the fires. Potential donors overflowed a Golden Valley High School donation drive designated for helping people and animals affected by the Woolsey fire, said organizer Dean Douglas.
Douglas, a student at Golden Valley High, said the drive had to be cancelled because of the influx of donations and no space to put them.
Thus, all pet supplies and other items will be going directly to the Castaic Animal Care Center, he said.
“All donations are being stored at my house and will be delivered over the course of this weekend,” Douglas said.
The Animal Care Center is in need of crates and pet supplies, said Sheri Koenig, the animal control manager in charge of donations. Some residents have been donating piles of hay for affected horses, but the shelter has enough that they will be giving to the fire victims’ pets in need.
“We’re still housing animals at facilities but right now we’re also focusing on the recovery process for affected animals,” Koenig said.
Residents who specifically want to donate money and go directly to disaster relief can go to lacountyanimals.org and give to Noah’s Legacy Program, the foundation that helps animals return to their owners and pays for veterinary costs.