PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Many people have been looking for the best way to help support the fight against fires in Oregon and the people who had to evacuate because of those fires.
The Red Cross says the best way to help out is through financial donations.
“We’ve seen an outpouring of support,” said Monique Dugaw, the regional communications director for the Red Cross. “This community is so generous.”
The Red Cross announced Wednesday it is currently assisting 225 evacuated people. There are 75 people at the shelter at Mt. Hood Community College and 150 people at the Skamania County Fairgrounds.
People have been active in that generosity, donating money, food and other material items. The Red Cross, though, asked Wednesday for the material donations to stop.
“It can take resources away from direct individuals for people that are truly suffering,” Dugaw said. “And (it) takes resources away from our assistance with those folks and we have to clean and sort and store and move some of the items that are donated.”
Instead, if people would like to help out, they can go online and donate money directly to the the Eagle Creek Fire relief efforts.
“Even if it’s $5, $1 or $2, we appreciate any financial donation so that can go to people who need it,” Dugaw said.
The donations aren’t just used for food and toiletries, but also for things like prescriptions.
“Often times people will leave quickly and they might forget their medication,” Dugaw said. “One of the things the Red Cross does, we verify the prescription and get those basic needs met so they don’t have to worry about the basics.”
Another way to help is by eating and supporting local Hood River businesses and volunteering to the Red Cross, though light training will be required.
People have also been asking how they can help the rebuilding effort for areas affected by the Eagle Creek Fire. Officials say, with the fire going from 3,000 acres to 32,000 acres burned in the past two days, it’s too early for that kind of help.
“No. 1, the public should stay at home,” said Michael Lang, the conservation director for friends of the Columbia Gorge.
Here are some ways to donate to the Eagle Creek Fire relief efforts
RAY, a restaurant in Portland, will be donating 10% of its sales each night from Wednesday through Saturday to the Cascade Red Cross.
American Red Cross said the public can donate on their website under Oregon Wildfires of Local Red Cross. or by calling 503.528.5634.
The Hood County Search and Rescue and Friends of the Columbia Gorge are also accepting donations on their website.
There’s been a GoFundMe campaign set up to help the Oregon Firefighters Association that people can send donations. Here’s the link.