Disaster Relief Fund FAQS

Who will the Fund help?
The Fund will assist low-income individuals and families directly impacted by the fires, and focuses primarily on providing intermediate and longer-term recovery support.

How does United Way define “low-income”?
We define “low-income” based on the Real Cost Measure, an indicator developed by United Way of California that identifies the income required to meet a basic standard of living in each county across California. The Real Cost Measure factors in local costs of housing, food, transportation, child care, health care and other basic needs.

What if I or someone I know needs assistance?
Please contact United Way’s grant-funded partner, 2-1-1 and press “1” for wildfires or contact the American Red Cross®. 

How will the funds be distributed?
Funds will be disbursed to trusted local non-profit organizations that will provide support to low-income residents in the form of a direct payment, services, goods or other supports. A list of selected organizations, and their contact information will be posted here when available.

I understand that many celebrity homes and affluent homes are in this areas affected. Why should I donate to this fund?
This fund will assist only those determined to be low-income as defined by above. Many low-income individuals and families live and work in these communities, including individuals who lost work as caretakers, housekeepers, or gardeners in the homes lost to the devastation.

How can I donate to the fund?
Donations can be made here. The fund will remain open.

Donations can also be made:

  • by texting 2018 fires to 41444
  • by visiting @LAUnitedWay on Facebook, or
  • by mailing a check to United Way of Greater Los Angeles, 1150 S. Olive Street, Suite T500, Los Angeles, CA 90015. Please make your check payable toUnited Way of Greater Los Angeles and write “Disaster Relief Fund” directly on the check memo line to directly identify your donation.
  • Visit here to give directly to Ventura County United Way

How are donations calculated?

Online / Telethon donations: You may increase your donation to cover credit card processing/bank fees our organization covers in processing
Text Donations: Text-to-give charges a .025 percent fee for processing your text donations which you may include with your donation, if you choose.
Facebook Donations - Donations made on Facebook to charitable organizations, such as United Way of Greater Los Angeles, using the Facebook payments platform aren't charged fees.

How do I know where my dollars are going?
This Fund supports affected communities in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties.   United Way will allocate funds based on the number of affected households in each county. Funds will be granted to trusted 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations that work directly with the affected individuals and families.

How can I support the immediate needs of those affected by the wildfires?
Twenty-five percent of Fire Relief Fund telethon donations will be given to the American Red Cross® for immediate relief efforts, including shelter, meals, health services and comfort to those affected by the wildfires. If you would like to support the immediate needs of those affected by the wildfires in Southern California, additional donations may be made to the American Red Cross disaster relief efforts at: www.redcross.org.

What if I am interested in volunteering?
Please visit us here to find out more information on volunteering

Can I send in a check?
Yes, please make checks payable to United Way of Greater Los Angeles and send them to:

United Way of Greater Los Angeles
1150 S. Olive st. Suite T500
Los Angeles, CA 90015