Giving and Saying Thanks

A fireman works to keep a home from catching fire, as the neighbor’s home burns.

Whether you are in or out of a divorce, the holidays are challenging enough without constant pictures of hellfire and smoky air in your eyes. It can be tough find time in order to target the most effective channel for giving help during a catastrophe and our fires are no exception. I’m passing along some very practical advice from an article in MarketWatch (Alessandra Malito) that focuses on feedback from the professionals, “on the ground”, after a few days of initial responses.

Darrell Steinberg, mayor of Sacramento, tweeted:

“Americans are rushing to donate supplies, food and clothes to help victims. But organizations including the American Red Cross and the Humane Society say victims need cash more than anything else.

We all want to help the victims of the #CampFire, but please don’t send supplies, as the evacuation centers say they have been inundated. Those working on the front lines say giving to the @RedCross or @Habitat_org is the best way to help” 

 “After a disaster hits, the American Red Cross witnesses the incredible generosity of people from across the country who want to help in any way they can with donations of items like clothes, shoes, food and household items, but the reality is, cash donations are best,” the Red Cross said in a statement.

In Southern California, where the Woolsey Fire has ravaged communities, the Humane Society of Ventura County said it was stocked with supplies, but will need more money for items like pet food. Actress Sandra Bullock donated $100,000 to HSVC, which is caring for cats, dogs, donkeys, pigs, horses, chickens, ducks and other pets displaced by the fire. (The organization will care for these animals until the owners can reunite with them, it said.)

If you have kids they’ll probably want to follow Sandra’s lead, as they look at thousands of frightened pets, think of their own, and want to give some thanks for being safe.

If you or someone you know is in dire straits trying to get divorce-related materials filed by December 31St call the PeaceTalks office and we’ll tell you if we know of any available resources that might be of immediate assistance.

Links to donate to  Red Cross and Habitat for Humanity

The People “Nextdoor”

by Stephanie Maloney

The People “Nextdoor” Copyright: <a href='https://www.123rf.com/profile_olivierl'>olivierl / 123RF Stock Photo</a>There was a recent article by Joel Stein about “Nextdoor” the social networking service and requisite letters in response representing various points of view. Since one of the main goals is to keep neighbors apprised of suspicious behavior it’s not difficult to understand how people’s paranoia could get in the way.

The most disturbing aspect of this dynamic is the amount of apparent racial profiling coming through many of the community posts. If I understood correctly, people in certain neighborhoods, have been reporting activities based solely on the color of an individual’s skin, with no additional particulars. There were, however, no reports of suspicious activities of white strangers observed in South Central Los Angeles. Steps are being taken to address this inequity.

The idea of connecting neighbors is as old as the back fence and has been an important part of the real “Neighborhood Watch” the one that starts with paying attention instead of ignoring. We have no excuses for not using the phone that’s probably in our hands to call for help when you see something happening. But we need to avoid jumping to the easy conclusions. Look out for your neighbors and in LA call 1-877-ASK-LAPD for help while providing where, and why you need them with as full a description as is possible.