Red Cross

The American Red Cross

J.L. Sousa/Register

The Red Cross and Goodwill have teamed up to help those affected by the California wildfires.

Since the fires began, “A tremendous amount of donated goods” from individuals, companies, and organizations have been received by the Red Cross, according to a news release.

The community has been very generous and wants to do everything they can to help after a disaster, said a Red Cross news release.

Unfortunately, collecting and sending food, clothing and other household items often does more harm than good, the release said.

It takes time and money to transport, store, sort, clean and distribute donated items, which diverts limited time and resources away from helping those most affected with food, shelter, health and emotional support, explained the agency.

Goodwill is better positioned to accept, sort, store and distribute donations of clothing and household goods.

In order to help streamline and coordinate distributing those donations, the American Red Cross Northern California Coastal Region, American Red Cross Gold Country Region, Goodwill Industries of the Redwood Empire and Goodwill Industries of Sacramento Valley and Northern Nevada have created a strategic partnership for the handling of non-financial donations to better serve those that need help.

“Our new partnership with Goodwill will ensure we can get donated items quickly to those in need,” said Denise Everhart, Red Cross coordinating officer for the California wildfires.

“A partnership between Goodwill and the American Red Cross ensures that the generosity of the community ends up in the intended recipient’s hands,” said Brandy Evans, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries of the Redwood Empire.

“Through partnerships we are able to allow for immediate distribution of items, while activating our team to support in donation management,” said Evans.

“Our role is to be good shepherds of donated material goods, for which we created our voucher program. Through the use of vouchers, our neighbors are able to select items they need, when they are ready for them,” said Evans.

Alongside partners, Red Cross disaster workers are supporting shelters and fanning out across communities that have been reopened to provide food, emergency relief supplies and support to people whose lives have been turned upside-down by these wildfires because of the financial donations and corporate support.

In addition to being a material goods processing hub, Goodwill Industries has committed to providing $325,000 in vouchers to connect community members affected by these fires with the donated clothing and other household items.

Vouchers will be distributed to qualified clients through the casework process at the Red Cross Client Assistance Centers.

Vouchers will be allocated based on need and can be redeemed for selected items in Goodwill locations throughout Northern California.

People who would like to donate items can visit any Goodwill Industries Donation Center location throughout Northern California.

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