Five Easy Ways You Can Help After a House Fire

Firefighter walking out of a house
| 5 min read Crowdfunding

With the prevalence of wildfires increasing in the United States, unfortunately, communities are becoming more and more familiar with losing homes to fire. If a house fire strikes your friends or family, it can not only damage or destroy their property but leave them feeling powerless and vulnerable. It can also leave you wondering how to help. Here are five easy ways you can help a loved one or neighbor get help after a house fire.

Start a fire relief fundraiser

Crowdfunding raises both funds and people’s spirits

Along with raising the funds needed for recovery, a crowdfunding campaign also creates a venue for friends and family to post words of encouragement and support—which can be just as valuable.

If you’re thinking about running a crowdfunding campaign for someone who has lost their house to a fire, you’ve come to the right place. People use our crowdfunding platform to raise money for similar circumstances every day. Here are a few things you can do to show love and compassion for what your friend is going through:

1. Send love and take action

The first step to take in supporting a family affected by a house fire is to let them know you’re there for them and will support them in whatever way you can through this crisis. A house fire leaves people shocked and unsure about what to do next. Bringing them basic necessities or helping them find temporary housing can be a great place to start helping.

2. Send money

In a house fire, people sometimes lose everything—all the material possessions they’ve accumulated over a lifetime. While they may never be able to replace items with sentimental value, sending money in any amount is a simple way to help families rebuild their lives after a house fire. If you have the means, offer whatever financial support you can to keep them afloat while they wait for a check from their insurance company.

3. Bring a meal or buy groceries

It may be some time before they have refrigeration or a working kitchen. Depending on the situation, ask neighbors and others in your community to bring meals or non-perishable groceries to help out in the interim.

4. Organize a clothing drive

Ask those who have lost their house for their clothing sizes and pass their sizes along to anyone willing to donate clothes. Or, make personalized trips to your local thrift store or mall to provide them with a change of clothes. For reference, see SF Gate’s list of things a family needs after a house fire.

5. Launch an online fundraiser

You can pair any of the four ideas above with a GoFundMe fundraiser. As you well know, the victims of the fire already under incredible amounts of stress. Take some of the financial burden off their shoulders and start a fundraiser for them. Encourage people to donate and to share the page with their own social networks to make sure your loved one receives as much help as possible. 

Examples of crowdfunding for fire relief

If you need some help figuring out where to start, take a look at the following fire-related campaigns on GoFundMe. Find a successful campaign that’s similar to the one you want to run, and use it as a model. 

Hundreds of people in the US and around the world have gotten help on GoFundMe after major wildfires, including these specific fires:

Examples of fire-related crowdfunding fundraisers for specific individuals or groups:

Osman’s Fire Relief: After the Thomas Fire in Ventura destroyed his friend’s home and all of their belongings, David Wilner started this fundraiser to help them rebuild their lives. David rallied nearly 10,000 donors to give more than $170,000 total to help the Osman family in their time of need.

Tathra fire victim fund for Julie K: Gina’s mother Julie was away from her home when the Tathra bushfires hit and ended up destroying her house and all of her possessions, including her original art. To help her mom after this disaster, Gina raised more than $21,000 from friends and family. 

Help autism school rise from ashes: The Anova Center for Education, Sonoma County’s only nonprofit school for children living with autism, was destroyed by wildfire. Community members rallied around this beloved school, and they raised more than $180,000 to help rebuild. 

Reptacular Animals Ranch Fire Fund: Wildfires can devastate all living things, including our animal friends. While no animals were hurt in the wildfires, all of the enclosures and houses at this animal ranch were destroyed. Campaign organizers raised $45,000 to help the Reptacular Animals Ranch rebuild. 

Start a fire relief fundraiser

We know that it can feel difficult to know how to help a loved one or friend who has lost their home to a fire. Starting a fundraiser is a kind and loving way to show how much you care for them. Start a fire relief fundraiser for friends or family today. 

Start a fundraiser

Written by GoFundMe