UPDATED: Fire Relief Efforts – How You Can Help

By The Rev. Anna Rossi

Sunday, August 23

UPDATED Friday, August 28th

We continue to pray for those affected by fires across the state, many in our own backyards: 

Holy God, who in Jesus Christ knows what it is to be frightened and in pain, be with all those in the path of danger. Give them courage, endurance and hope, and bring them safely through this time of fire and pandemic. In the name of our companion Christ we pray. Amen. 

While relief efforts are complicated by the pandemic, there is still much that we can do to support our neighbors.  

First, evacuees need care bags 

Through next Tuesday, September 1, the DioCal Disaster Response Team is collecting care bags for evacuees and donations for relief, coordinating the movement of care bags from church sites in San Francisco to relief areas in the Dioceses of Northern California and El Camino Real. If you are able to contribute care bags to the effort, please email the Rev. Anna Rossi for instructions on arranging delivery to a nearby church. Due to COVID-19, every delivery must be arranged in advance, and there are multiple sites throughout the diocese. 

Care bags should be sealed backpacks or other lightweight, portable bag with: 

  • Toiletries: a comb, shampoo/conditioner, soap, toothbrush/paste, deodorant, moisturizer, sunscreen, paper tissues, disposable razor, toilet tissue, sanitary supplies, diapers  
  • COVID-19 protection: gel hand sanitizer, sanitizing wipes, mask, disposable gloves  
  • First Aid items: Band-Aids, Tylenol, Aspirin
  • Food: protein bars, nuts, dried fruit, water, chocolate, gum, tea bags  
  • Clothing: underwear, socks, t-shirt, hat/cap  

Also consider: 

  • Pet food and supplies: cans of dog/cat food, small bags dog/cat kibble, cat litter  
  • Other items: Books for adults/children; coloring books/crayons/pens; playing cards; puzzles  
  • Gift cards: Safeway, Walgreens, CVS, etc. 

Second, support fire relief.  

To donate, visit gracecathedral.org/GiveToGrace and under fund, select “Fire Relief.” All donations will be shared among the dedicated fire relief funds in affected dioceses (Northern California, El Camino Real and Los Angeles).  

Third, take care of yourself.

Dust off your own emergency plans. Don’t aim for perfection, aim for what you can do this week. Just a little. And then make a date with yourself and your household to come back to those plans within the month. Don’t know where to begin? Ready.gov offers extensive, free resources; so does the Red Cross.

Stock up on healthy coping mechanisms. Join the Rev. Heather Erickson and Anna Rossi in Self-Care for Resilience: Breathwork and Holistic Wellness. The 45-minute experiential program uses basic breath work and wellness practices to use in times of crisis or heightened anxiety.

Thank you for your ongoing commitment to love, refresh and serve our neighbors in distress.  

May the God of Hope fill us with compassion 
and strengthen us to be Christ’s hands 
for the healing of the world. 

The Rev. Anna E. Rossi is the Succentor at Grace Cathedral.

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