Central Coast businesses collecting donations for wildfire victi - KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Area News

Central Coast businesses collecting donations for wildfire victims

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Thousands of people have lost their homes and most precious belongings as a result of the Thomas Fire burning in Ventura County. Now, businesses on the Central Coast want to do their part by collecting donations that will go to organizations that support evacuees.

Until 1 p.m. on Sunday, customers of Surfside Donuts can satisfy their sweet tooth while giving back. The donut shop will donate 20 percent of its sales this weekend to those in need.

"Monetary donations are going to be split up between the United Way, Humane Society of Ventura County and the American Red Cross. We're donating 20 percent of our sales, not just profits, but sales," said Carrie Vanzandt, owner of Surfside Donuts.

The business has also collected toiletries, food, water, dog and cat food, and clothes that will go to the Humane Society of Ventura County, Santa Paula College, and the Salvation Army and Goodwill of Ventura County. Donations have been so strong that Vanzandt says the business is no longer accepting clothing donations.

In San Luis Obispo, Blackwater, a retail shop, is partnering with the Salvation Army to donate to fire victims. The store is open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily in downtown San Luis Obispo and is accepting gifts for all ages, gently worn and new clothing, as well as monetary donations that will go to the Salvation Army, according to the store's owner, Mary Alice Hamilton.

"I felt compelled to do something. I wanted to make sure that the victims of the fire had a happy holiday," she said. 

Those who donate will also receive 20 percent off their in-store purchase at Blackwater.

Nearby, at 3600 South Higuera Street, Meathead Movers is also hosting a drive at their mini-storage location.

"We're collecting diapers, we're collecting ready-to-eat meals, toiletries, sleeping bags and also backpacks," said Frances Heredia, Call Center Manager.

Not only that, the company is offering one month of free storage at the Meathead Movers Mini Storage in Oxnard to victims of the Thomas Fire. For more information, call 805-544-6328.

On Friday, Miner's Ace Hardware in Grover Beach was also busy collecting toiletries, first aid, blankets and canned food items for Thomas Fire victims. Paul Filice, the president of the company, says the hardware store has ties to the Santa Paula area.

"We recently opened a store down there in September and this is just a good way to give back to the community," Filice said.

The store's donation drive was held Friday and donations will be taken directly to the Santa Paul Community Center where the Red Cross is set-up. Filice says if there's still a need for donations, the store will host another drive in the coming weeks.

In Paso Robles, Bijou Boutique is also collecting donations. The store is located at 815 12th Street and donations can be dropped off until Tuesday between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. at the store. This donation drive calls for gift cards, diapers, feminine products, canned and dry foods, new clothes, sleeping bags, and blankets.

The City of San Luis Obispo Parks and Recreation Department is collecting donations for California fire victims at its office for the next couple of weeks. The Parks and Rec office is located at 1341 Nipomo St. and is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.

For those who wish to make a monetary donation to the Salvation Army, visit salvationarmy-socal.org.

The United Way of Ventura County, in cooperation with the Red Cross, Ventura County Sheriff's Office and Ventura County Office of Emergency Services, has established the Thomas Fire Fund. Organizers say all donations will go directly to those who have lost homes and need assistance recovering from the destructive wildfire. Click here to donate or text "UWVC" to 4144.

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