Monday, October 23, 2017

UPDATED California Wildfires: Ways to Help

What a fortnight we have had here in California Wine Country.  Just two weeks ago I was going about my business and saw a couple of news posts on my Wine Business Monthly Daily Update about fires in Sonoma and Napa counties.  From there I came to learn how extensive, powerful and destructive those fires would be.  Many people have lost their homes, their businesses, their jobs and some have even lost loved ones.  With the devastation there has been an outpouring of support and donations to disaster relief efforts.  If you are looking for ways to help, please consider one of these options:

Visit the Wine Country:  The Northern California wine country is known for its beauty and excellent wine country hospitality.  It is just as vibrant as always, and they need you visiting, staying overnight, touring the wineries, and dining in the restaurants.  If you are thinking the wine country is destroyed, think again.  I visited last Wednesday and it was a beautiful fall day and wine country was definitely open for business.  

American Red Cross:  The Red Cross is currently asking for donations, which you can give online at, call 800-RED-CROSS or text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.  For information on how they are assisting during the wildfires, please click here.  

Volunteers are also needed, and becoming a trained American Red Cross volunteer can be useful today and into the future.  I completed my introductory courses and now am learning about ways I can help.  To learn about becoming a Red Cross volunteer, click here. 

Salvation Army:   I also recommend considering giving donations to the Salvation Army, which has been supporting many of the evacuation centers and recovery efforts, 

While I posted earlier about immediate ways to help (visit my past blog post here), we are luckily in the recovery stage, where the needs are different.  

Many articles have been written about ways to help, and I believe Alder Yarrow at Vinography did an excellent job this past weekend of creating a thorough list of fundraising efforts.  To view his posting, please visit the Vinography blog.  Here's a copy of his list:

In the days since the fires began, numerous fundraising efforts sprang up using sites such as GoFundMe.Com, enough so that these giving sites created pages collecting these efforts into a single spot. I've been supporting one created by my friend Kimberly Charles, who runs a wine PR firm. She's been collecting money and then either buying goods and bringing them to shelters, or buying amazon and target gift cards to bring to aid organizations in Sonoma and Napa. One note of caution with regards to this method of giving: anyone can set up a GoFundMe page, so please do some checking to make sure that the organizer is above board and a legitimate victim of the fire or a responsible individual that will put your donation to good use. 
In addition to these individual campaigns, several large organizations have set up funds for fire relief, many of which are well positioned to have a great impact, as this kind of community support is what they do all day long.
Olehealth.Org is a nonprofit focused on community health care. They are on the front lines of providing help to victims of the fire and could use your donation.
The Napa Community Fund provides monetary aid to the Napa Community and is gathering funds for fire relief.
The Redwood Credit Union has started a fire relief fund for Sonoma County.
The Sonoma County Resilience Fund is a nonprofit that will direct aid to the areas of Sonoma in greatest need.
The Community Foundation of Mendocino has a disaster relief fund for Mendocino.
Undocumented immigrants are not eligible for federal disaster relief. That's why UndocuFund exists

The wine community has rallied, as they always do, with an amazing sense of solidarity. Several events have been organized to raise funds, perhaps the most impressive of which is a collection of winemakers and sommeliers who are putting on events in California and New York that I highly encourage you to attend. They are also looking for donations of wine that they will sell at the event with 100% of the proceeds going to fire relief.
The various regional wine associations of California have banded together to create #CAWINESTRONG, a campaign for supporting the wine industry in recovery efforts. In addition to taking donations directly, they have also signed up many of their member wineries to donate portions of their sales to relief efforts.
The Howell Mountain Harvest Tasting on November 4th in Yountville will have a silent auction benefitting the Angwin Fire Department, who heavily contributed to firefighting efforts in the past few weeks.
AirBNB is mobilizing its hosts to provide free housing for fire victims.
Wine critic Jancis Robinson has organized a California wine tasting in London on December 2 to raise funds. Details will be forthcoming.
Naked Wines has raised money from its immense customer base and has donated $50k already to the Napa Valley Community Fund.
The Willamette Valley charity Oregon Cares is holding a fundraising dinner event on Sunday October 22nd with proceeds going to benefit California. 
Brooks Winery in Oregon is hosting a two day holiday market November 11th and 12th and 50% of admission proceeds will be donated to relief funds. Details will be posted soon.
Retailer Flatiron Wine and Spirits in San Francisco is holding a wine tasting of wines out of Magnum on Monday October 23, with proceeds going to charities supporting relief efforts. 
The San Francisco Vintners Market on November 5 will donate 50% of its ticket sales proceeds to fire relief. 
Jack Winery designed T-shirts -- the proceeds from which will go to help first responders who lost their homes.
Limerick Lane is donating 100% of the proceeds from one of its wines to fire relief.
Raymond Vineyards is donating proceeds from the sale of its Honoris wine to fire relief.
Tiny producer Reeve Wines is donating money by holding a raffle with some pretty cool prizes.
Red Car Wine Company is donating 50% of tasting room sales of the 2016 rose and 100% of the profit sold to wholesale for the balance of the year.
Many tasting rooms in Rutherford are donating fees from this weekend's tastings (October 21st and 22nd) to charity.
Iron Horse Vineyards is releasing their Gratitude Cuvee and some of its proceeds will go to the Redwood Empire Food Bank.
On October 28th, Peterson Winery in Healdsburg will be having a party and raffle and wine sales event benefitting the Redwood Credit Union North Bay Fire Relief fund. 
Occasio winery in Livermore Valley is donating 15% of their proceeds to fire relief for all the weekends in October. 
Far Niente and Nickel & Nickel wineries are donating all tasting room fees to relief funds for an open-ended period of time. Apparently so are Miner and Alpha Omega.
During the month of November, Charles Krug winery is donating 20% of all proceeds to the Community Foundation Disaster Relief Fund.
Truett Hurst Winery will donate 100% of ticket sales and 10% of wine sales during their holiday open house on October 28th.
20% of Blackbird Rosé sold online will be donated.
Grassini Family Vineyards in Santa Barbara is donating $1 for every bottle of wine sold through November 15 to the Direct Relief Fund.
Flying Goat Cellars in Santa Barbara is donating $10 for every bottle of Pinot Noir Salisbury Vineyard 2011 sold through October 31 to the Direct Relief fund.
Chappellet is donating 10 percent of their wine proceeds in October.
Thank you Alder for that comprehensive list.  A big thank you to all of the firefighters, emergency responders, and volunteers.  And THANK YOU for helping out in any way you can.  

No comments: