SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — The fire on the USS Bonhomme Richard has impacted every sailor who works on the ship, but also those who live on the ship.
To help, groups have stepped up to accept donations to give to the people who have been displaced. The Navy Life Naval Base San Diego Facebook page posted a warning to watch out for fake GoFundMe or charity request pages, and said the government is not allowed to accept donated funds to fix or replace the ship.
The post highlighted three official groups to donate to who are safe and reliable:
- Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, which is accepting online payments and mailed in checks to be donated to sailors,
- Support the Enlisted Project, which is accepting all types of donations, and
- USO San Diego, which is also accepting all types of donations.
Gillian Gonzalez, with the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, said more than 80 sailors lost all of their belongings in the fire. Her group immediately bought gift cards for sailors displaced and they’re working on replacing uniforms as well. She advises that people who make donations to their group specify that their donation should go to the USS Bonhomme Richard sailors directly.
The USO office is taking every type of donation, from hygienic items to clothes. Executive Director Ashley Camac said they’ve taken loads of items to the ship every day since the fire started.
“It might have been where they lived. It certainly is where they worked. So when you bring product to them and you bring toiletries to them and you bring essential needed items, there’s a smile that happens, there’s a sense of relief,” said Camac.