May 2014 Firestorm: How you can help

10News to host phone bank for Red Cross

As San Diego endures this rare early-season firestorm, many in the community are asking how they can help. ABC 10News hosted the American Red Cross of San Diego / Imperial Counties here at the studio on Thursday, but you can still help San Diegans affected by this tragedy.

The Red Cross will update viewers on support efforts, discuss preparedness and explain how you can help. Volunteers will also be available to take your donations.

To get quick answers to the top questions we've been receiving, we spoke with the local Red Cross's Courtney Pendleton. Here's what she said:

What can I do to help?

The Red Cross currently has the resources that it needs to assist emergency crews and evacuees. However, the situation can change minute by minute. 

Do you need volunteers?

Fortunately, we're able to do what we need to with our current base of trained volunteers. However, as you know, the situation could change quickly and we will put the word out if we need volunteers from the community.

Do you need donations of food, water, blankets, etc.?

Often the best way to help is simply to make a monetary donation. That way we can make sure we get the materials and items to emergency responders through the channels that we have put in place in preparation for these disasters.

As far as food, we already have relationships in place with restaurants and we work with them to get everyone fed. At Red Cross shelters, we don't necessarily have the physical space or logistical means to accept donations like food, clothing and blankets.

Are you helping firefighters?

Yes. That's definitely something that the Red Cross does that people don’t often know about. We do "canteens" for first responders at their incident command post or gathering points that provide hydration and snacks while they’re fighting the fire.

If I give today, where does my donation go?

Donor intent is always honored. When you make a donation, please note where you would like it to be allocated.

From the 10News team, here are a few additions:

  • Stay safe. Stay informed.
  • Keep sharing pictures, video and information about the conditions where you are so we can keep the community informed by emailing We cannot respond to everyone, but we appreciate your contributions!
  • Take a moment to #thankafirefighter:

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