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Bend man heading home to Paradise, Calif. with donations


Wildfires in California continue to rage. That means people are continuing to donate to help people who lost their homes or loved ones in the fires.

And now, officials are saying they don’t have the resources to sort through the huge amount of clothing, blankets and toiletries they are receiving.

Instead, they’re asking those wishing to help to send money to a reputable charity or even send a group gift card for a restaurant, grocery store or retail store.

On Tuesday, NewsChannel 21 spoke with Paula Fasano Negele, public information officer with the Oregon Office of Emergency Management. She said she understands people just want to help. But in a disaster, money is what’s really needed the most.

“Unless you have made advance arrangements with a local agency and have made those plans to meet at a place and get specific things, I would say just really dig into your pockets and find some cash to send,” Fasano Negele said.

Reputable organizations include The American Red Cross, which is opening shelters across California, and the California Community Foundation’s Wildfire Relief Fund, which has been providing aid to people affected by wildfires for 15 years.

For some Central Oregonians, this disaster is too close to home.

Curtis Nelson lives in Bend and works at GoodLife Brewing, but he grew up in the fire-ravaged town of Paradise, California.

He said his family is safe and evacuated, but their homes are likely gone.

On Friday, Nelson will drive down to California to bring supplies and be with his family.

“It’s really going to hit once I get down there,” Nelson said. “Right now, it’s pretty surreal to think about. Right now, it’s just photos, posting photos of their grandma’s house that’s gone or their parents’ house that’s gone. It’s just devastating overall. My mom thought that she might not make it out of there, so that’s pretty terrible.”

GoodLife Brewing, along with Deschutes Brewery and Boneyard Brewing, are coming together to bring supplies and gift cards to victims of the fire.

Donations will be accepted at GoodLife Brewing until 10 p.m. on Thursday night.

Again, gift cards are encouraged because of the huge supply of clothing and blankets already donated.

Other places to donate include:

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