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Recovering from the California Fires

The recent California Fires are one of the most devastating our state has ever experienced but the human spirit has prevailed and communities are pulling together to help those in Northern and Southern California recover from this disaster . In Southern California more than 1,600 structures were destroyed including 600 homes that were lost in Malibu alone. Families have been displaced, lives lost. We are all still grappling with how to recover from this epic disaster.  I have been following feeds and talking with friends in Malibu and Westlake this past week trying to figure out exactly what we can do to help. Here’s what I’ve discovered.


Air Quality in Malibu Is a Huge Issue

Air quality is still poor and those who have returned to their homes are struggling with the smoky residue in the air. Diane Prince Johnston has launched a Go Fund Me page for #helpusbreathe and is negotiating with some air purification manufacturers to get air purifiers to Malibu residents.



The mission of #helpusbreathe is to get air purifiers into the homes of everyone, making repopulation more habitable and safer to all of those who are able to go back home.  The campaign is simple: donate money towards the purchase of air purifiers that are being distributed out of a garage in eastern Malibu.  You can contribute directly to the Go Fund Me page.


People Need Emergency Care, Shelter and Household Goods

The Malibu Foundation is providing support and emergency relief to those affected by the Woolsey fire in Malibu, Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley and surrounding areas. You can donate directly online at www.themalibufoundation.org.

The Boys and Girls Club of Malibu is also undertaking an effort to help those affected by the fire. They have been raising funds for emergency relief.  You can donate online at www.bcgmalibu.org Also follow their Instagram feed for announcements about other ways to donate or help.

Camp Hess Kramer and Camp Hilltop in the Malibu Hills were largely destroyed by the Woolsey Fire. Although the full extent of the damage to Camp Hess Kramer and Gindling Hilltop Camp won’t be determined for some time, we know that it is severe. Among the buildings and areas lost to the fire at Hess Kramer are Baruh Hall, Gildred Hall, the climbing wall, Leadership Library, the dance platform, and the ark, along with several staff residences and all but two of the cabins. At Hilltop, all structures were lost with the exception of two cinder block staff housing units. Your can donate online to the Camp Recovery Fund to directly help with immediate and long term needs and will provide assistance the onsite staff who have lost their homes.

To help those in Northern California you can donate online to the Red Cross or one of the many Go Fund Me campaigns online.


Where to Donate Goods

The Riveter in West LA and Marina del Rey are collecting goods to donate to those affected by the fires. They are also offering free work space for 30 days to anyone who lost their workspace in the fire. Contact Heather Carter heather.carter@theriveter.co  While all the home good are appreciated, whats really needed now are ways to clean up the mess – gas driven chain saws, trash bags, push brooms and dust pans, shovels and tarps. There will be a drop-off location on Cloverfield at Santa Monica for these items. Contact Jones Builders Group, Nathan Jones at 310-463-0769  for details or donate online. 


Community Pulling Together

There’s a Thanksgiving Dinner for local residents and First Responders from 11am – 2pm on Thursday at Pepperdine University hosted by the City of Malibu, Malibu Chamber of Commerce, Malibu Jewish Center and Synagogue, Malibu United Methodist Church and Pepperdine. Food has been contributed by Albertsons, Sodexo, Malibu Beach Inn, California LOVE water, Wanu Water and Sweet Lady Jane. Questions? Email ericalippy@gmail.com.

There are a number of other Go Fund Me accounts online. I cannot verify any of these but you can look through them yourself and see if you want to support any of them. Many have already exceeded their goals so my guess is the best way to support is via The Malibu Foundation or Boys and Girls Club.



To stay up to date on what’s happening in Malibu follow @thelocalmalibu , @onelovemalibu, @malibutimes and @gabbyreece on Instagram. To help those in the Valley affected by the Woolsey and Hill Fires you can donate online via the links on the Ventura County Community Foundation page.


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