With the close range of wildfires comes the increased traffic of wildlife escaping from danger. Make sure domesticated animals are safely inside by sundown, but also try leaving some water out for tired, dehydrated and exhausted wild animals. Do a little more by helping protect Big Sur’s recovering condor population, which is directly impacted by the Dolan Fire. Nonprofit Ventana Wildlife Society has an online auction from 8am Thursday, Aug. 27, to 8pm Saturday, Sept. 5. Their Feathers 2020 live virtual event runs from 5-8:30pm Sept, 5. More at ventanaws.org.
FEED: The Masses
Neighborhood efforts to feed people are on the rise. Consider creating a neighborhood pantry or garden if you have extra space in your yard. Stock the pantry with unopened dried goods like beans, rice and pasta; grow easy-to-harvest vegetables, like Swiss chard or kale, in your small community lot. Little Free Pantry (littlefreepantry.org) is a great place to get started with ideas. Or you can follow in the footsteps of grassroots programs like 831 Fridges, currently on the lookout for a fridge and host (instagram.com/831fridges). Keep your eyes peeled for similar efforts, like Big Sur Big Share (thebigsurbigshare.com) and Love Our Central Coast (loveourcentralcoast.org).
SUPPORT: Youth Arts
According to Americans for the Arts, students who participate in arts classes are four times more likely to stay in school – and yet in the last recession, arts classes were among the first to meet the chopping block. This time around can be different. With so much uncertainty in the world, keeping arts alive keeps our kids engaged, plus they have wonderful things to show for it. Palenke Arts in Seaside has active YouTube and Instagram pages showing off cultural arts like baile folklórico and choir performances. Youth Arts Collective in Monterey features prolific Instagrammers. The nonprofit celebrates another 20 years with the (now virtual) LiveART Birthday Celebration streaming on Facebook and YouTube at 4pm Saturday, Aug. 29. Plus, the art is on sale; proceeds benefit YAC. Or just generously open your wallet and consider donating to youth arts organizations like Greenfield Cultural Arts Center, Alisal Center for the Fine Arts, Dance Kids Monterey and others.
SHOW UP: For Your Neighbors
When the stress of life appears during wildfire season in the middle of a pandemic, it has a way of making an entrance. You may be in a better position than your friend miles away or a family a city away – but whatever it is, offer what you have because people hate asking for help. Offer to hose down an elderly neighbor’s property if they’re in the line of the wildfires. House your friend’s pets if they have to flee, or open up your backyard for a few days of camping for evacuees. It can even be as simple as showing up to your stressed friend’s house with a home-cooked meal because they have been too busy looking for a job, taking care of their kids or packing up in case of evacuation orders.