How to Help Fire Loss Victims

by Ainsley Whitley

A house fire is a tragic, unexpected and traumatic experience that can leave you without your home, your valuable or sentimental possessions, and even your pets. After such an event, communities often come together to help fire victims rebuild their lives. By donating basic necessities such as clothing and household items, you can help a family get back on their feet and recover from a devastating loss. To help victims of fire loss, work with a local disaster-relief organization or take the initiative on your own.

Become a Disaster Relief Volunteer

Various organizations help victims recover from house fires and other emergencies. If you want to make a difference by volunteering, check your local phone book or online for your local disaster-relief agency's contact information. As a volunteer, you may deliver food, clothing and other items to a family who is living in a temporary shelter. Other duties may include providing emotional support and helping the family develop individual plans to aid recovery. Some of these agencies require that you complete training before you can volunteer.

Donate Money

Fires loss has a devastating financial impact. Donating money is often better than donating goods because it provides flexibility in how the donation is used. Get your friends, co-workers and neighbors involved in the donation effort. You'll need to contact your local disaster relief organization for information on where to take the donations you collect. If a fund hasn't been established, your local bank can help you set up a fund to collect donations for the victims.

Donate Items

Your local disaster relief organization probably has information as to where to drop off items and the items that the victims need. You can take the initiative on your own, or talk to your community and get others involved. Displaced fire victims typically need everything from toiletries to furniture and kitchen appliances. First focus on the immediate necessities, such as food, clothing and toiletries, followed by long-term needs. Evacuation centers are usually well-stocked, so you may need to drop the donations off at the Red Cross to help replenish their supplies.

Offer to Foster Pets

While the individual or family is in temporary shelter, their pets are often left without a home; they'll likely be taken to the nearest animal shelter. If you have experience caring for pets, consider contacting the animal shelter nearest the location of the fire to see if the pets are present and inquire about fostering. Some shelters offer free supplies to foster pet parents, such as bowls, toys and food. If you locate the animals at a shelter, but the shelter doesn't have a foster program, consider donating food and pet supplies.

About the Author

Ainsley Whitley is a contributing writer for various branded properties that together attract more than 280 million readers seeking influential content. Whitley's articles have appeared in various print and online magazines, including "GQ," "Details," "Southern Living" and "Cooking Light."

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