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Red Cross Provides Relief During Largest Wildfire in California History

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We are grateful to the hundreds of volunteers who answered the call to provide relief and hope.

While the American Red Cross continues to help families recover from the Thomas Fire, the organization is beginning to reflect on the historic relief effort provided in response to the largest wildfire in California history.

Since the fire began one month ago on December 4, 2017, the local Red Cross has provided relief in the form of nearly 6,000 overnight shelter stays, served more than 46,000 meals and snacks, distributed over 23,000 relief supplies, passed out more than 660 hygiene kits, and made nearly 4,500 health services contacts.

“We are grateful to the hundreds of volunteers who answered the call to provide relief and hope,” said Red Cross Executive Director Kimberly Coley, “The Red Cross has provided around the clock support to thousands of local residents affected by this historic fire.”

Red Cross volunteers from around the nation poured into Southern California last month in response to multiple wildfires burning across the state, including the Thomas Fire. Thousands more local residents volunteered spontaneously with the Red Cross to support their community.

“The outpouring of local support has been so inspiring,” said Coley, “Together with the generosity of our donors and compassion of our volunteers, we will become an even stronger, more resilient community.”

Recovery after a disaster is often measured in months and years, the Red Cross will be in the community providing support for as long as there is a need. Red Cross service centers are still open with caseworkers meeting one-on-one with affected families to create individualized recovery plans:

Ventura County Credit Union, 6026 Telephone Rd., Ventura, CA 93003

Tuesday, January 2, 2018 through Friday, January 5, 2018 – 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Saturday, January 6, 2018 through Sunday, January 7, 2018 – 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Ojai Public Library, 111 E Ojai Ave., Ojai, CA 93023

Saturday, January 6 through Sunday, January 7, 2018 – 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

A public hotline has been set up for anyone who may have additional questions about what services are available. Please call the hotline at (512) 745-2920 or contact the local Red Cross chapter at (805) 987-1514 to learn more.

Disasters like these wildfires create more needs than any one organization can meet on their own. The Red Cross is working very closely with the entire response community – government agencies, other non-profit groups, faith-based organizations, area businesses and others – to coordinate relief and recovery efforts. The Red Cross delivers help to whoever needs it regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation or citizenship status. The Red Cross is a charity, not a government agency, and people who have disaster-caused needs do not need to be American citizens to access Red Cross services. 

How to Help

The Red Cross is able to provide disaster relief services during wildfire season thanks to the generosity of the community. Call, click or text to give: call 1-800 RED CROSS, visit redcross.org, or text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

The Red Cross is accepting new volunteers who are interested in supporting wildfire relief efforts. Visit redcross.org/volunteer to begin an application. Once submitted, Red Cross representatives will contact the applicants regarding orientation and volunteer opportunities.

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.