By now, you’ve no doubt heard about the wildfires devastating both northern and southern California. We watched the news from Nairobi to Frankfurt and the smoke is still far from cleared.
As of this morning, The Camp Fire in Butte County has destroyed 135,000 acres and is 35% contained. The Woolsey Fire in LA and Ventura Counties has decimated 97,620 acres and is 47% contained.
While area businesses and organizations are scrambling to provide relief, I’ve pulled this list of reputable resources you can donate to, thanks to Inside SF:
- “The North Valley Community Foundation in Chico is raising money for shelters. Donate here.
- The Enloe Medical Center, which is also based in Chico, is raising money for caregivers and patients who have lost their homes. Donate here, and see its ongoing list of other area foundations raising money for victims here.
- The California Fire Foundation is providing short-term financial assistance for those who suffered “catastrophic losses.” Donate here.
- The California Community Foundation has an ongoing wildfire relief fund you can donate to here.
In addition, Curbed SF has enlisted San Francisco disabled rights activist Alice Wong to focus attention on the plight of the mobility impaired, many of whom are left behind in disasters like the Camp Fire. Scroll down to see her list of agencies focused on helping marginalized groups affected by the disaster.”
I can’t imagine the turmoil these thousands of people are experiencing, whether it’s losing their homes or not knowing where their loved ones are. Anything you can spare will surely help these people in need — particularly as we head into the holiday season.
I’m sure there are worse ways to start off your week than being unceremoniously dumped, but I’m struggling to think of any right now. Better sooner than later, I know. But woof. What a week it’s been — and it’s only Wednesday.
- “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes”: Caitlin Doughty’s memoir served as the backdrop for this month’s Book Club pick. It’s a dark, oddly humorous and fairly emotional look at the funeral industry and the way society acknowledges death (or doesn’t). I’m intrigued to hear what my fellow clubbers thought, but I gave it an enthusiastic four stars myself.
- Support BELWOP: One of the most selfless, giving people I know is planning a mission trip to Kenya with her church. You can read more about it on Lydia’s GoFundMe page, but I hope you’ll consider giving to a spirit so bright and selfless. Any donation counts toward helping her help others.
- Bran Flakes Visits: Another of my favorite humans on the planet is coming to visit tomorrow, and her timing couldn’t be more perfect. From working on the same creative team and exploring Panama and Costa Rica, plus volunteering on a leadership board and even designing this very WO template, Brandi and I have shared some of my most treasured experiences — and I’m sure there are more to come this weekend.
- “Let’s Generalize about Men” – “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”: There are some real gems out there when it comes to breakup songs, but this one is absolutely my favorite right now. If you’re not familiar with “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” songs, they’re often self-aware and a parody of ridiculous proportions. Disclaimer aside, I think anyone would enjoy this totally tubular jam.
And just like that, it’s No-freaking-vember. I understand yesterday was Oct. 31, so naturally, today is November, but HOW? I feel like a new mom when I say the days are long, but the years are short. Before we know it, we’ll be saying “sayonara” to the garbage dumpster of 2017 and embracing the newness of 2018 for all of about two hours. Woo-hoo!
- Join the Movember Movement: My friend Nate is back at it again, raising money and awareness for men’s health in his fifth consecutive Movember campaign. He’s already more than halfway to goal — and it’s only Nov. 1 — but you can still support and get a super-sweet pic if you donate $50+. And, with VISA checkout, donations are matched (up to $25, so split ‘em up if you want extra points)! It takes seconds but can save so many lives.
- “Stranger Things”: Uh, duh. I couldn’t dress as Barb yesterday and not be totally hooked on this Netflix original. I binged all of season 1 over the weekend in preparation for my role (and a friend’s themed party!), but I have yet to dive into season 2 so NO SPOILERS. From what I’ve watched you’ll be just fine if you can get through the spookiness of S1:E1. Plus, these kids are so talented — and hilarious!
- “The Good Place”: After bingeing on a creepy show, I obviously needed a mental break. So I binged the first season and was pleasantly surprised. Again, NO SPOILERS on season 2 so far! Kristen Bell and Ted Danson are devilishly funny; and I highly recommend it, as one of the freshest comedies I’ve seen in years. Even the Rotten Tomatoes critics and reviewers give it an 86-90% approval rating!
- “I Put a Spell on You” – Screamin’ Jay Hawkins: There are plenty of haunting Halloween classics I could write about, but this one’s been in my head lately so it takes the cake. Notice, I’m not even touting the version from “Hocus Pocus” — personal growth again? Screamin’ Jay sure knows how to grab your attention and make you want to groove. What’s your go-to Halloween song? We can still talk about it, despite so many attempts to make Christmas happen, like, today ::eye roll::
I feel like a broken record when, week after week, some national news takes precedence over my thoughts and heart. It’s nothing compared to what the people directly affected are feeling. And I don’t expect the world to be all sunshine and rainbows. But is anyone else completely exhausted by all of this hatred and violence?
I studied journalism — I know that “if it bleeds, it leads.” Yet it feels like we can’t even get so much as a day anymore without some terribly traumatic event being splashed all over the news, social media and our day-to-day conversations. Such conversations are important. I’m not denying that. But I do wonder how long we can possibly continue to shout (into vacuums) at each other, when not many seem willing to listen?
- Help Heather and Other Charlottesville Victims: The President may be reluctant to say it, but I’m not: White supremacists are domestic terrorists. There is no room in this country for such ignorant bigotry and violence. Don’t @ me comparing this to Black Lives Matter. Seriously. Pour your energy into something useful, like donating to help the victims in Charlottesville, Va.
- Lady Gaga: I can think of very few artists who are so consistently vocal about being inclusive and accepting of all humans. I’ve been a fan of hers for years, and finally had the chance to see her perform live Sunday night — her first-ever stadium show in the US. She spoke about Saturday’s events, of course, and brought 40,000 to their feet — and many of us to tears as well.
- “The Cure” – Lady Gaga: Something about this recent release of Gaga’s really strikes a chord with me. Maybe it’s because all we need to hear sometimes is, “I will be right by your side.” Whatever the reason, it’s been stuck in my head for days and I’m not mad about it.
- The Summer of Love: Isn’t it ironic, Alanis? Don’t you think? I walked into the de Young Museum’s exhibition about The Summer of Love on Saturday, having no knowledge of the Charlottesville events. An hour later, and I couldn’t unhear the news. What a blissful hour it was, though; exploring fashion, art, culture and more from one swinging summer that defined San Francisco 50 years ago.
11/11: Make a wish! Or, you could consider one of these more productive ideas 😉
- Veterans’ Day: I say it every year, but today is just one opportunity of many to thank the servicemen and women who sacrifice it all to serve our country. I’m fortunate to know many active and retired military members, whom I can’t thank enough. I won’t get on a soapbox, but the freedoms we’re fortunate enough to enjoy come at a hefty cost — so JUST DO IT.
- Coffee Cups Cause Commotion: Surely, we have better things to do with our time than debate a coffee cup and its “hidden meaning.” I’m a Christian, and I celebrate Christmas because of Christ — not because of a billion-dollar company’s alleged agenda to take down Jesus. Unfortunately, it’s another example of a few bad apples (or pumpkin spices?) spoiling the bunch.
- Blue Apron Donates Thanksgiving Dinner: It’s no secret I love Blue Apron for its (literally) life-changing service, but here’s another reason to obsess. Now, you can donate your Thanksgiving box of food OR an additional box (and still receive your own). Either way, Blue Apron will match all donations to help feed local families in need! You can donate now until noon ET on November 20.
- “Hotline Bling” Parody – SNL: Last week’s SNL episode, hosted by Donald Trump, left much to be desired… until this ridiculously silly parody popped up. I’m still laughing so hard, I cry — not sure if that says more about the video or me. Either way, enjoy!