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Satellite view of a hurricane

How to help: California wildfires

Updated December 11, 2017

Wildfires have been burning through Southern California since early December, tearing through tens of thousands of acres in counties around Los Angeles. The fires have prompted the mass evacuation of thousands of people, as hundreds of homes and businesses have been destroyed.

As firefighters begin to contain the wildfires and residents and officials start assessing the damages, one thing is clear: recovery from this event is only just beginning; and cleanup and rebuilding efforts will very likely spread into the months and years ahead.

How to help

Fidelity Charitable has collaborated with the Center for Disaster Philanthropy to provide the following list of organizations providing relief services for the California wildfires. These organizations are highlighted because they have existing operations or chapters in the region, the ability to incorporate a large influx of donations, and a strong, established record of excellence in disaster relief services.

Following a natural disaster, there can be an increased risk of fraud committed by individuals preying upon the good intentions of people wanting to help; donors should take care that the organizations they are supporting are legitimate. Fidelity Charitable makes grants only to IRS-qualified 501(c)(3) public charities, such as the organizations below.

Direct Relief

TIN: 951831116
27 South La Patera Lane
Goleta, CA 93117

Salvation Army

TIN: 222406433
615 Slaters Lane
Alexandria, VA 22314-1112

American National Red Cross

TIN: 530196605
P.O. Box 37243
Washington, DC 20013

The American National Red Cross was chartered by Congress in 1905 to play a central role in coordinating and responding to domestic and international disasters.

Fidelity Charitable donors recommending grants to the Red Cross should click on the drop-down menu for use designation and choose California wildfires. To recommend a grant to a specific Red Cross chapter, select the chapter from the list provided when searching in “Find a charity.”

Please note the organizations listed in this guidance do not represent the full list of organizations raising money for relief efforts for the California wildfires. Fidelity Charitable has collaborated with the Center for Disaster Philanthropy to provide these organizations to donors for reference purposes only, and Fidelity Charitable does not endorse these organizations. All grant recommendations are subject to review and approval by the Fidelity Charitable Trustees. Fidelity Charitable will communicate all grant designation recommendations for the California wildfire relief to grantees.

Related resources

CDP brief: 2017 wildfires

An overview with the latest on the situation in California, with additional resources and ideas for donors who want to help.

Four phases of disaster relief

When should you give in a disaster? The opportunity to make a difference does not end after media coverage dies down.

Issue insight: Wildfires

The Center for Disaster Philanthropy discusses the growing threat of wildfires and the conditions that are causing them.

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