How To Help People In California Who Have Been Affected By The Wildfires

Hundreds are still missing.

Thousands of Californians are trying to get back on their feet after a particularly devastating few weeks this fire season.  More than 870 people are still missing in connection with California's most recent wildfires and 12,000 homes have been destroyed, according to The Los Angeles Times. Many of the people who lost their homes in the fires were renters, often without renters insurance to cover the cost of the damage to their homes.

One Californian told NBC News she didn't just lose her home, but her job. Heather Milstred, 29, shared her experience, one that will feel familiar to many whose towns were affected by the fires.

"I'm a job coach for mentally disabled adults with California Vocations, and my boss has been amazing," Milstred says. "But our location was leveled. They're renting out a temporary space, but the [future] is unclear... how do you work in a town where everything else is gone and everyone has left?"

If you're wondering how you can help those affected,  you're not alone.

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Even if you're not in California, there's a lot you can do. Most of the people in need don't have anywhere to store food, clothes or other donations. Instead, they are asking that people send gift cards or cash to support those in need. FEMA doesn't take donations, but they've announced a few organizations they are partnering with (included below below) where you can donate, as noted by NBC News. 

Be sure any place you send money to has been approved by National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD).

Cover image via Noah Berger-Pool/Getty Images.

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