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How to help those affected by the Wine Country Fires



The North Bay fires have been devastating and Marin is stepping up in a big way to help our neighbors to the north. At the last official press conference Sunday morning the status was updated to “recovery mode”. This is good news. However, the fires continue to burn, it’s a long road for recovery and as a community there is still lots to do.

What to do?


Monetary donations:

Donating directly to groups on the ground, or to the victims via gift cards are the top priority, and if this is something you can do, we have listed groups on the bottom of this post and, (this just in) an anonymous donor will match up to $1K on our Make it Better Red Cross funding account.


Long term housing:

If you have a place to offer up, please email Andrea Jolicoeur at andreajoli@summerfieldwaldorf.org.


Volunteer Info:

For volunteering opportunities in various towns as well as a detailed list of donation needs throughout Marin, Napa and Sonoma counties, updated fire maps and school closure information - in other words, for anything you need to know about helping or getting help, please click on this Google Doc, which is updated often by jackie@jackiejudge.com.

This information is frequently updated.


Animals

Free Pet Boarding:

Marin Humane is still offering FREE boarding of pets for those evacuated due to the fires. People can bring their animals to the shelter located at:  
171 Bel Marin Keys Blvd in Novato 415.883.4621  

No need to bring food or bedding but if possible, bring any veterinary records or pet meds. All domestic pets accepted, including reptiles, fowl, and some barnyard animals.  
For the latest updates, visit facebook.com/marinhumane or marinhumane.org/northbayfires

Foster, adopt, volunteer with the Milo Foundation milofoundation.org


Mental Health

Nancy Haugen, PhD specializes in 'Disaster Mental Health' created some '’Cliff's Notes" to keep in mind so that we can all be empowered to support mental health for those in pain.

1. Whereas in the Emergency Room there is the Golden Hour (time to get to the ER when there has been a trauma), in Disaster Mental Health there is the Golden Month. There are 30 days from the point of the disaster, to make a major difference. Any intervention, support, kindness that can happen during those 30 days will change the long-term outcome. It is significant.

2. Given how the brain shuts down in a disaster, victims are not able to process words very well. They WILL track on tone of your voice and your body posture.

3. Don’t problem solve, most important task is to just LISTEN.

4. Sharing where resources are is important – if possible, give a written form of the list so that they can refer to it later. They won’t remember much if you just tell them.

5. Asking open ended questions (How can I help?) are not helpful because it asks too much of the victim’s brain to figure that out. Present two choices with yes or no answer (May I drop off food Friday or Saturday?)

6. After the fires are contained, and the media leaves (referred to as the Honeymoon period – “we’re going to make it! We’re going to stick together!), most victims experience depression. The research indicates that the depression will last for a while, so keep in mind that  ongoing supportive gestures, any intervention, support, kindness, is still needed. After the depression period lifts (can be as long as a couple years), people most often report that they feel that they have a new life.

Please feel free to share and repost this information! We thank you for your community support in
our efforts to spread the IMPORTANCE OF MENTAL HEALTH!


Monetary Donations

  • North Bay Fire Relief (RCU account)

https://www.redwoodcu.org/northbayfirerelief

BR Cohn winery has established a go fund me account that will be used to purchase gift cards for families affected by the fires. They will match the donations up to $25,000. https://www.gofundme.com/vweheartofthevine


We will continue to update this page as we receive more information from the community.

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