Here’s how you can help those affected by the California wildfires

Here’s how you can help those affected by the California wildfires
Suzanne Kaksonen, an evacuee of the Camp Fire, and her cockatoo Buddy camp at a makeshift shelter outside a Walmart store in Chico, Calif., on Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018. Kaksonen lost her Paradise home in the blaze. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

(RNN) – Two devastating wildfires in California have killed at least 65 people; 53 in the Camp Fire in northern California, and three in the Woolsey Fire in Southern California near Los Angeles.

The number of people missing leaped to a shocking 631 on Thursday.

More than 461 people and 22 cadaver dogs are searching for the missing through collapsed buildings, near residences – all to provide answers to anxious family members who are waiting on word about their loved ones.

The town of Paradise was burned off the map.

Firefighters are still working to contain both fires, and should have better luck now that the high winds have died down.

Many who survived lost everything, homes, cars, scrap books full of memories – many escaped with just a few items.

And survivors are facing a housing crisis; 10 percent of Butte County’s housing vanished in one day, according to Ed Mayer, executive director of the Butte County Housing Authority.

“And there’s nothing to replace it,” he said – especially for low-income families.

To make matters worse for those in shelters waiting to go home or to figure out their next step, there is an outbreak of norovirus at a shelter in Chico, CA, in Butte County.

Here are some organizations helping people and animals in those affected areas. Be sure to check all charities you donate to on the Charity Navigator website.

They’ve opened numerous shelters across California, and have a way for people to check in and mark themselves safe and well on their website. Family members can search the list for their missing loved ones.

You can also donate at their website or make a $10 donation by texting the word CAWILDFIRES to 90999 or calling 1-800-RED-CROSS.

The fund opened in 2003 and raised more than $5 million for relief and recovery efforts in the aftermath of the wildfires. The organization has helped those who lost their homes to wildfires rebuild them while providing financial and mental health assistance as well as medical treatment. To make a donation, visit their website here.

The foundation’s Supplying Aid to Victim’s of Emergency (SAVE) provides short-term help with gift cards so they can buy basic necessities such as toiletries, clothing or medicine. Click here to donate.

Located in Chico, where many have fled the Camp Fire, Caring Choices is organizing volunteers to help. The organization says they have too many at this point, but urge those who want to volunteer to return in a few weeks as recovery begins. However, they do need monetary donations for its operations.

The hospital is taking donations to help care for those patients, their families and caregivers who lost their homes who need medical assistance. You can donate on their website or text “CampFireRelief” to 91999.

Founded by Hollywood stars, the nonprofit’s website has a fund that helps firefighters and other emergency workers battling the wildfires. For example, the charity provided hydration packs for the Los Angeles Fire Department. You can text “GIVE” to 50555 to donate $25. Or, visit their website.

Located in Chico, the nonprofit is raising money for organizations that are sheltering evacuees of the Camp Fire since many lost their homes. Click here to donate.

Because the Camp Fire affects Northern California and the Woolsey Fires is burning in the southern part of the state, the charity has set up two links to help the different regions. Click here, and you can choose where your donation goes.

There are two chapters of the United Way helping those in the different parts of the state.

United Way of Greater Los Angeles is raising money for those affected by the Woolsey and Hill Fires. Text “2018fires” to 41444 to donate or visit their website.

United Way of Northern California is helping those affected by the Camp Fire. Text CAMPFIRE or CARRFIRE to 91999 or visit their website.

Helping animals

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