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California Wildfires: How to Help Victims on Thanksgiving as 86 Killed, 500 Missing, 13,000 Homes Lost

As families across America gather at home to celebrate Thanksgiving by tucking in to turkey and cozying up to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the thoughts of many will be with the victims of the California fires that have killed at least 86 people and disrupted thousands of lives. 

According to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, the Camp and Woolsey fires have killed at least 86 people, and destroyed at least 400 square miles of land since they began tearing through either end of the state. The fires have become the most destructive and deadliest in California’s history.

On Thursday, as many as 536 people were still missing in Butte County, Kory Honea Butte County Sheriff said in a news briefing on Wednesday (via CNBC). Some 13,000 properties had been destroyed in Butte County after the blazes coursed through more than 153,000 acres, and the Woolsey Fire, which engulfed more than 96,000 acres, razed another 1,500. 

Below are some way to help the victims of the California fires. 

GettyImages-1060720780 A couple embrace while looking over the remains of their burned residence after the Camp Fire tore through the region in Paradise, California, on November 12. The death toll from the fire has risen to 83. JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images

Donate to charities

Charity Navigator, an organization that evaluates how reputable charities across the country are, has released a list of organizations it recommends to send donations to.

The list includes the American Red Cross, which provides support and shelter to those affected by the blazes. You can donate online by calling 800-Red Cross or texting Redcross to 90999 for donations of $10.

The California Community Foundation Wildfire Relief Fund, meanwhile, provides immediate relief to those in need, as well as long-term help. Click here to donate online. The organization also accepts checks sent to the following address: California Community Foundation 221 South Figueroa Street, Suite 400, Los Angeles, CA 90012.

Americares, California Community Foundation, Convoy of Hope, Delivering Good, Direct Relief, Feeding America, GlobalGiving, International Relief Teams, Islamic Relief USA and Matthew 25: Ministries also made the Charity Navigator list.

Google is fundraising too, with proceeds going to the nonprofit Center for Disaster Philanthropy, which will, in turn, pass money on to local relief efforts.

Give to Crowdfunding Campaigns

Crowdfunding website GoFundMe has created a webpage that lists verified campaigns for those affected by the fires. Pages range from assistance for animals to families and mom-and-pop businesses.

Offer Space in Your Home

Property-hosting website Airbnb is helping people provide rooms for evacuees and first responders free of charge until 29 November. 

Volunteer 

At the California Volunteers website you can find organizations that are looking for people to give their time to help victims recover as the fires become contained.

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