CHINO, CA, USA—Northern California officially has the worst air quality in the world right now. The air quality is worse than cities like Beijing, Mumbai, and Delhi. This is all due to the camp camp fire that started November 8. So far, more than 1,000 people are unaccounted and the death toll equals 71. The fire has continued for over two weeks despite efforts by state firefighters to contain it.
Several Sikh organizations have come forward to offer support to the victims who lost their homes and other possessions. A number of Sikh Gurdwaras (place of worship) have opened their gates and are providing free food and shelter.
Sikh for Humanity, a Bay Area-based Sikh organization, has already delivered a truckload of much-needed items including blankets, pillows, cereal, canned food and fruit to the distribution center in Chico which is providing supplies to multiple shelters.
“These items were almost out of stock in the distribution center. We are thankful to the sangat for their support in this relief efforts,” said Sikhs for Humanity spokesperson.
In Stockton, one of the oldest Sikh Gurdwara is organizing a blood donation camp. Stockton Gurdwara serves up to 5,000 Sikhs ever weekend and they are hopeful to provide assistance through the blood donation camp. Sikhs in Stockton and nearby areas area are also collecting supplies which will be delivered to shelters.
Khalsa Aid, an international Sikh humanitarian organization has also been working with various Sikh Student Organizations across California to provide volunteers and supplies to serve the victims.
Khalsa Aid USA took 300 backpacks, 2 pallets of dry foods, and about 100 sets of sweat suits, socks, underwear as well as medical and cleaning supplies to a local distribution center. Khalsa Aid has appealed to Sikhs to come out and volunteer at distribution centers and shelters.