Here's how to help immigrant communities in need amid CZU Lightning Complex fire evacuations in San Mateo County

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ByKate Larsen KGO logo
Wednesday, August 26, 2020
Immigrant communities in San Mateo Co. in need after wildfire evacuations
Help is needed in San Mateo County for evacuees of the CZU Lightning Complex fires, many with nowhere to go and nothing to eat without hotel vouchers and donations.

SAN MATEO COUNTY, Calif. (KGO) -- Help is needed in San Mateo County and beyond for the fire evacuees who have nowhere to go and nothing to eat, without donations and hotel vouchers.

Pescadero resident, Francisco Garcia, showed up to Half Moon Bay High School Tuesday night with his daughter and 6-year-old granddaughter, to pick up supplies.

With tears in his eyes, he said in Spanish that if it weren't for a hotel room, his family would be living under a bridge right now.

His daughter, Gladis Garcia, said she has no idea if their house has survived the fire, since they've received no official notice about the conditions of their neighborhood.

RELATED: Bay Area wildfire updates: CZU Complex Fire grows slightly, remains at 19% containment

With the CZU Complex Lightning Fire moving closer to the San Mateo County coast, the Garcias and hundreds of other families evacuated from the Pescadero area last week.

Farm workers, janitors, arborists are all still going to work.

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In order to survive, they're stopping by Half Moon Bay High School to pick up hotel vouchers, food, and supplies.

"My girlfriend and I have no idea what we'd be doing. We'd be sleeping in our car or putting a tent up somewhere. Due to COVID and everything that's going on, there's no opportunity. I can't afford a hotel room every night," said Osman Yousif, a La Honda resident.

"I've been staying very close to the evacuation center, just one night I slept in my car," said Rita Mancera, the executive director of Puente de la Costa Sur, a non profit, which along with the Red Cross and San Mateo County, have provided hundreds of hotel vouchers, supplies, and support.

RELATED: Tips for how to help and stay safe during and after a wildfire

Mancera and 80 percent of her staff have been evacuated from their own homes and they are still on the front lines supporting others.

"There's a lot of examples of community members helping community members, and I think that's what describes our community," said State Senator Jerry Hill.

The San Mateo County senator spoke to ABC7 from Sacramento about the urgent need of the coast's immigrant communities. He says San Mateo County has given out hotel vouchers to 650 families so far.

RELATED: Bay Area fires: Latest on LNU, CZU and SCU Lightning complex fire evacuations, road closures

"The Red Cross and Puente and Pescadero have been wonderful but we need those resources and those donations to really help them," said Sen. Hill.

Here is a list of ways to donate according to Coastside Fire Help:

  • Monetary donations and gift cards donated here.
  • You can purchase gift cards to take to the evacuation center at Half Moon Bay High school. These will be distributed to the evacuees.
  • You can go to and purchase restaurant gift cards to be distributed to the evacuees. No contact purchase and delivery is available. You can purchase the gift card and it is mailed to us from the restaurant.
  • You can call one of the following businesses and donate money to the large animal feed fund for animals that have been evacuated: HMB Feed & Fuel, (650) 726-4814, Ascevedo Feed, Inc, (650) 726-6160, Pastorino Hay & Ranch supply (650) 726-5155.
  • Adopt a family through Amazon. Go to CZU Complex Lightning Fire adopt-a-family on Facebook and request a list of items for families. These items are sent directly to the families as well.
  • People who want to donate goods can send an email to and they will be added to a list of people who want to donate, so that when the need arises they can reach out to them for those items.
  • VIDEO: Bay Area fires: Tour CAL FIRE's massive base camp in Santa Cruz County

    ABC7 News got a tour of the massive CAL FIRE base camp in Scotts Valley, a massive 24/7 operation for crews battling the CZU Lightning Complex Fire.


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