Great ways to help in Ventura County


Almost a week after the Woolsey and Hill Fire broke out, residences of Ventura County are still catching glimpses of the smoke coming over the mountain. Photo credit: Shariliz Poveda

By Shariliz Poveda

As firemen and first responders are fighting to contain multiple fires raging in Northern and Southern California, residents are looking for ways to give back and support their neighbors.

While people feel that donating food and other material goods are the best way to provide support, a majority of the facilities such as the fire stations, Red Cross and local shelters are no longer accepting further donations to be dropped.

With drop-offs no longer an option, we made a list of other ways you can help out in your community.

Blood Donations

Immediately after shootings, many rushed to donate blood for the victims. After such a tragic event the hospitals and centers eventually began to turn people way, overwhelmed with so much blood. However, it is important to continue to donate. While the recent blood drives may have become full last week, the year-round need for donors never dissipates. There are multiple ways to find blood drives, the best is to search online at either Red Cross or Vitalant, a blood transfusion company.

Letters and Cards

The Thousand Oaks Police Department has begun collecting handwritten letters and cards to give to the families affected by the Borderline shooting. They ask that people drop them off at the police station. The police are guaranteeing they will be hand-delivered to each family. It is a nice way to make the community feel united.

The Writing Center at Moorpark College has also set up space for students to write letters and cards to the victims’ families of the Borderline shooting, firefighters and first responders.

Financial Donations

Red Cross Ventura County and Red Cross Los Angeles County are asking for people to make financial donations on their website instead of dropping off material donations. Fire stations and shelters do not have space or staff to manage the wave of donations that follow after a tragedy, along with those affected by it.

The California Fire Federation has also set up a way for you to donate funds. Their program SAVE, Supplying Aid to Victims of Emergencies, collects donations and in turn, gives out $100 gift cards to families in need to buy food and basic items needed after they are displaced. Their website provides more information on donations, as well as other programs relating to the fires and firefighters.


Airbnb is allowing people to open their homes as shelters for evacuees. On their site, they allow people to register their homes, not only for the fires but for any natural disaster. With many shelters full, this is a nice option for the evacuees and gives them a more homey feel.

For more information on recovery centers and evacuations please visit Ventura County Recovers and sign up for their notifications.