When tragedy strikes, as it did over the weekend in Oakland, a feeling of helplessness can take hold. But eventually we pick ourselves up, find out ways we can help, and seek out spaces where we can collectively mourn and be there for each other.
The fire at the Ghost Ship warehouse in Oakland has resulted in 33 confirmed fatalities and counting. Many are wondering how they can help.
Here’s a list of five fundraisers and ongoing relief efforts, and benefits and events where we can show up and support (below).
Primary Fundraiser: Fire Relief Fund for Victims of Ghost Ship Oakland Fire
This fundraiser was launched the morning after the fire, and has amassed over $200,000 and counting. “As soon as we know the full scope of this tragedy,” organizers say, “we will work to distribute appropriately, and of course for funeral expenses the funds will go to the victims’ families.” The fundraiser is organized by Gray Area Foundation for the Arts, a reliable and respected nonprofit located in the former Grand Theater in San Francisco’s Mission District. Donate here.
Oakland A’s and Oakland Raiders Matching-Funds Fundraiser
Within a day, the Oakland A’s launched a fundraiser to match donations up to $20,000; the Oakland Raiders soon joined. The response has been overwhelming enough that the matched donation level keeps rising. At press time, your donation will be matched by the MLB and NFL teams up to $50,000 each. (The Golden State Warriors have announced a $50,000 donation to the Unity Council, a nonprofit in the Fruitvale District where the fire occurred.) Donate here.
Ghost Ship Fire: Residents Support
While many of the fire’s victims were attendees of the party, this fundraiser is for “the 20 residents who have lost their home and all their belongings,” according to organizers. The fund is facilitated by filmmaker Reina Lam. Several residents were in attendance; all of them lost all of their belongings. Donate here.
Resources to Support Ghost Ship
If you can’t spare a cash donation but are able to help in other ways, this Google doc lists people who are able lend support and resources to those affected by the fire. It is being shared publicly for people looking for assistance. If you’re able to take in loved ones traveling from long distances, or residents displaced, or even just offer rides, food or other help, add your name and contact information to the document.
Oakland Firefighters: Random Acts of Kindness
The psychological toll on firefighters searching through debris for victims can be intense. One way to help firefighters is to donate to the Oakland firefighters’ “Random Acts of Kindness” fund, used for exactly what its title promises. After 911 calls or emergencies, firefighters often encounter people in need, and the fund is used for surprises like the one seen below — a good way to mitigate feelings of hopelessness. Donate here.
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Here are some benefits, vigils and other events for those affected by the Oakland warehouse fire happening around the Bay Area:
Light Vigil for ‘Ghost Ship’
Monday, Dec. 5, 2016 at 8pm
Lake Merritt Pergola (North east corner of the lake)
Bring flameless candles, glow sticks, flashlights, or other types of light. For those who can’t attend, there will be a live feed on Facebook.
Oakland Fire Vigil and Call for Safe Spaces for Trans Folk
Monday, Dec. 5, 2016 from 5:30pm to 7pm
Harvey Milk Plaza (2401 Market St, San Francisco, CA)
A candlelight vigil in the Castro to mourn the victims and to raise awareness around the unique issues facing trans victims of the fire. Speakers include the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, Tracy Garza, the Rev. Cameron Partridge, and more.
In Honor of Our Friends: The Oakland Queer + Trans Open Mic #OaklandGhostShipFire
Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016 from 6:30pm to 8:30pm
440 Grand Ave, Oakland, CA
SPECTRUM Queer Media will provide sanctuary and celebrate the victims’ lives through music, poetry, visual art, films, stories, and more. Donations will go to the Fire Relief Fund.
Benefit for Ghost Ship: Cables & Arms, Belle Reve, Twin Screw Steamer
Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016 at 7:30pm
El Rio (3158 Mission St, San Francisco, CA)
San Francisco punks eager to do anything they can to support their friends and community in Oakland. All proceeds and donations will be going to the Fire Relief Fund.
Oakland Fire Benefit: Kimya Dawson, Torrey Pines, Johnny Physical
Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016 at 7pm and 9pm
Midsummer Studios (5743 Horton St. Suite A, Emeryville, CA)
Kimya Dawson, who wrote an impassioned post about the need for artists’ spaces, will perform. Torrey Pines, a stop-motion queer punk coming-of-age story by director Clyde Petersen, will be screened with a live score by the band Your Heart Breaks. Johnny Physical Lives, a documentary by Joshua Neuman about rock ‘n’ roll and the passing of his brother, will also screen.
Yours Truly: A benefit for Ghost Ship fire victims
Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016 from 7pm to 2am
El Rio (3158 Mission St, San Francisco, CA)
Hard French and El Rio “invite you to gather, embrace, share, be, dance, sing or just get some air with family, while we honor our fallen primos in Oakland.” Featuring DJ sets from DJ Carnita, Brown Amy,
Vin Sol, and Josh Cheon, and music from Thao, Tender Forever, Scott Moore, and more. 100% of the proceeds will go directly to the Fire Relief Fund.
Benefit for Ghost Ship at the Golden Bull
Thursday, Dec. 8, 2016 at 8pm
Golden Bull (412 14th St, Oakland, CA)
Performances by Maya Songbird, Elrond, Collin Gorman Weiland, Denney Joints and more live acts and DJs TBA. According to organizers, all funds go to the YouCaring fundraiser.
AFC Presents: A concert to support the victims of the Oakland Fire
Friday, Dec. 9, 2016 from 6:30pm – midnight
The Arlene Francis Center (99 6th St, Santa Rosa, CA)
The all-ages DIY space, which once served as a flour warehouse, will host five hours of live music from Joshua James Jackson, Attacrobat, Rags, The Illumignarly, Horders, Secret Cat, and Living in the 90’s.
These resources provided via KQED.
Check this link for updates: https://ww2.kqed.org/pop/2016/12/05/oakland-fire-benefits-vigils-and-other-ways-to-honor-the-victims/