Photo credit: Scott Clark

While we've been enduring days of smokey and unhealthy air quality, many people living just a short drive from us, have been forced to evacuate. Others have lost their homes. These fires are close to home - just down the highway, in familiar nearby areas.

A number of community members have reached out asking how they can help those who have been directly affected by the fires. I've spoken with a number of people we know who live in the area and some of the people running the organizations directly supporting those in need. While things might change over the coming weeks, currently there is an abundance of clothing and food that has been donated. What is needed are Safeway gift cards which enable the recipients to purchase their particular personal needs. 

The Food Bank of El Dorado County is distributing gift cards (in $50 denominations) to people in need - they have already distributed over $40,000 worth. If you'd like to support this effort please purchase a number of Safeway gift cards and drop them off at Chabad or click here and make a donation to our Constant Caring program. Please write in the comments section that it is for gift cards for Caldor Fire victims and evacuees. Every dollar donated will be used to purchase gift cards. 

Safeway Corporate has pledged to donate $20,000+ worth of gift cards if the community is donating gift cards as well. Your private donation will hopefully encourage them to donate more.

As is often the case, the needs extend much longer than the event is in the news. While right now there are many people reaching out, it's quite possible that in a few weeks the needs will expand. I will keep you posted as I receive more information.

If you know of anyone who needs assistance please share our information and we will do what we can to connect them with the available resources or assist them directly.

Feel free to reply or reach out to me on my cell 916 878 8836 if you have any questions.

May we have good news to share!

Rabbi Yossi