The West Coast wildfire coverage has been hard to miss.The photos and videos of the raging flames offer just a slight idea of the tragedy that has struck Southern California. And by being at such a distance, it might feel any help that can be offered from Kansas City is futile. However, Teresa Hamilton, executive director of local charity Giving the Basics, believes this natural disaster offers an opportunity for those that are looking to lend a hand, no matter the distance, to step forward and help those in need.
“One of the most important things we have learned at Giving the Basics, is assuming what people need is rarely helpful. Asking them is very helpful and important. When you don’t ask people what they need, they often receive way more of what they do not need and not enough of what they really need. I suggest the best way our Kansas City community can help is to connect directly with the Fire Department in California to ask what would really help them and the people there. It may be skills. It may be finances and it may be products,” Hamilton said. “There is a saying: ‘Never seek to be a hero, but when called to be one, be willing.’ I see this as a terrific heroic opportunity for those of us in Kansas City who feel called to help.”
Additionally, for those looking to support the communities in CA monetarily, Sidney Peterson, digital communications and events associate at the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation, authored a blog post that includes suggestions on recommended relief funds.