Help Those Affected by California Wildfires and Your Donation Will Be Doubled

Red Cross volunteer walks through Coffey Park, Santa Rosa, California, assessing damage. (Photo by Marko Kokic for The American Red Cross.)

Update: Thank you to everyone who has generously donated to the American Red Cross to support wildfire relief efforts in California. Thanks to you, the Red Cross has reached their fundraising goal! At this time, donations will no longer be accepted for wildfire recovery. However, we hope you will continue to support the Red Cross’ work here in the Chicago area and around the country.

Make It Better is proud to team up with our sister publications Marin Magazine and SPACES, as well as Napa Sonoma Magazine and Diablo Magazine, to raise money for the American Red Cross and their work to help those affected by recent wildfires in California. An anonymous donor will match up to $10,000 in donations to help provide relief to those affected by the wildfires that have devastated parts of Napa and Sonoma. This partnership was made possible after Make It Better was able to raise $15,000 for the Red Cross’ hurricane relief efforts thanks to generous reader donations.

“Covering the story on the fires for Napa Sonoma Magazine was a humbling experience,” says Laura Levy Shatkin, editor in chief of Napa Sonoma Magazine and former digital editor at Make It Better. “I witnessed firsthand not only the devastation and evacuation — along with the fear and confusion families experienced — but the kindness and community support that came from local establishments and the American Red Cross, who manned many of the evacuation centers. Donations poured in to take care of those in need by the truck loads. The motto was posted on signs throughout both valleys — ‘The love in the air is thicker than the smoke’ — and it couldn’t be more true.”

Since the wildfires began on Oct. 8, 42 people have lost their lives, making it one of the deadliest wildfires in California history, and at least 8,400 buildings have been destroyed across Northern California.

The American Red Cross has been working tirelessly to support those who have been displaced by these wildfires. So far, they have been able to accomplish the following:

  • Meals and snacks served: more than 144,000
  • Overnight stays: more than 27,000
  • Health and mental health services provided: more than 10,000
  • Emergency relief items distributed: more than 109,000
  • Red Cross disaster workers: more than 870
Red Cross, California wildfires: shelter

Santa Rosa, California: Red Cross volunteer Michael speaks with shelter resident Charles. Michael has been a Red Cross volunteer for over 16 years and prides himself on being able to serve his local community that has now been struck by a disaster. Just days ago, Michael was personally rescuing people as they fled from the wildfires by transporting neighbors to evacuation centers a few miles away. (Photo by Marko Kokic for The American Red Cross.)

Your donations will continue to support the Red Cross’ efforts in California, so please visit our donations page. Thank you!