Alaskans looking to help those displaced by wildfires are asked to make monetary donations rather than bringing food and supplies to shelters, according to the Red Cross of Alaska.

“We know Alaskans are generous and want to do everything they can to help after a disaster,” said regional communications officer Cari Dighton in an email on Tuesday. “The first priority for the Red Cross is to provide shelter and support to those affected, and financial donations are the quickest and best way to get help to those who need it most.”

She said monetary donations can be used right away to help people affected by the wildfires and can replace items such as prescription medications and reading glasses.

At the temporary shelter in Wasilla’s Curtis D. Menard Sports Center, Kelley McGuirk said the Red Cross of Alaska is well stocked with food, water, hygiene kits, blankets, towels and toys, and does not have the capacity or manpower to accept and sort donations on site.   

McGuirk said between 89 and 90 percent of all financial donations to the Red Cross are spent helping clients.

Donations can be made online, over the phone by calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. 

If you or your loved ones are experiencing heightened stress or anxiety due to fire activity across the state, you are encouraged to reach out to the American Red Cross 24/7 Disaster Distress Helpline for counseling or support at 1-800-985-5990 or text ‘TalkWithUs’ to 66746.

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