As the wildfires in California rage on, Morgan Hill-based Specialized, in partnership with local bike shop Bike Therapy, are collecting donations to deliver to relief efforts related to the devastating northern California fires. They’re looking, in particular, for new or gently used clean clothing, cycling gear and shoes, nonperishable food items, blankets and pillows, new toiletries, and pet supplies. If you’re in the area, you can drop items off at Bike Therapy, located at 17540 Depot St, Morgan Hill, CA. They’ll be collecting items for the next 2-3 weeks.
Specialized is the first outdoor industry brand to take action regarding the wildfires that have devastated counties north of San Francisco. A handful of other outdoor Bay-area brands, including The North Face, Alite, and Huckberry, have drives and donations supporting the fire victims in the works.
The fires have claimed 40 lives and over 5,100 structures. 2,800 residences have been destroyed in Santa Rosa County alone. Over 400 people are missing in just Sonoma County, though authorities believe many of the missing persons reports are due to the difficulties of communication in the fire-ravaged region.
Of the roughly 200,000 acres burned, the vast majority of the fires have occurred in and near residential areas, making these fires among the deadliest in California’s history. Of the fires burning, most are at less than 10 percent containment, and with high winds and minimal rain in the forecast, conditions are not in firefighters’ favor.
“We are not even close to being out of this emergency,” said Mark Ghilarducci, director of the state’s Office of Emergency Services.
If you’re not local, aid groups and nonprofits encourage those who would like to help to make monetary donations. The Sonoma County Resilience Fund, the Napa Valley Community Disaster Relief Fund, or donating to Mendocino and Lake Counties via the Savings Bank of Mendocino County are all great options. You can donate to specific families or relief efforts through GoFundMe as well. You can also consult the Sacramento Bee’s comprehensive list of ways to help, broken down by county.
Photo by Rob Dass.