PASADENA, Calif.? -- Individuals and businesses desiring to donate in-kind products to wildfire survivors may do so with an online system that cuts out "the middle man." In-kind products, tangible goods and services, are matched directly with appropriate private nonprofit organizations through the Governor's Office of Emergency Services website: www.oes.ca.gov. Click on the link titled: How To Donate.
California uses the national nonprofit Aidmatrix Network, which is partially funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
"Essentially, we are a conduit - a private-public portal - between the donors and the nonprofits," said Tom Maruyama, state coordinating officer for the federal wildfire disasters. "We've partnered with dozens of charitable organizations including the American Red Cross, Salvation Army, the United Way, food banks and others to maximize assistance to disaster victims."
In the aftermath of the devastating fires, in-kind household goods, such as appliances, bedding, cleaning kits or furniture will be needed most by those requiring alternative housing prior to rebuilding. Donors offer their goods online. The offers are reviewed for suitability before being accepted for delivery to the appropriate charity.
"The Aidmatrix Network is a nationwide, web-based donations management tool used by federal and state emergency managers to connect donors with those in need," said Mark Neveau, federal coordinating officer. "The electronic system ensures the donated goods go where they are intended. The process for donating is fully explained."
Currently, food donations are not urgently needed for wildfire survivors. Cash donations can be made through the California Volunteers website, www.californiavolunteers.org. Click on "How you can help" in the Southern California Fires section.
FEMA coordinates the federal government's role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.