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Support California's Farmers & Families for American Cheese Month

Flames are raging throughout California, and nearly everyone living in the state knows someone who has lost their home, has suffered the fate themselves, or fears that they or their loved ones will. October is a month that I normally celebrate American Cheese Month here. Though I of course still encourage you to eat all you can of our domestic beauties during October (thank you, our amazing cheesemakers!), a direct way you can help our cheesemakers and famers right now is by helping communities directly affected by the fire. Even more important right now is supporting the communities that have been affected by the fire. The good news so far is that I haven't learned of cheesemakers who have lost their farms, creameries or homes. Sadly, many have been forced to evacuat,, and many of their employees, loved ones and friends, and others who work tirelessly for them are suffering dearly. We all need strong communities to stay safe and strong and move forward.

I'm sure most of you have either helped any way you can or are looking for ways to help more. Below are a few ways we can do so.

Not all of these locations or links are confirmed as helping points so for efficencies sake, I suggest checking first to make sure they're the best places for you to drop-off things or help before showing up (they may have already taken loads up or have a better place to suggest).

Feel free to contact me with more info about how to help and I'll put it on the blog, too. I'd like to add to it as much as possible. Stay safe, readers! Much love.

Volunteer Info:

(click on link for even more info than what's included below)

JUST WANT TO VOLUNTEER SOMEWHERE? Any community members seeking to volunteer should contact the Sonoma County Emergency Operations Center Shelter division at 707-573-3399 to determine where they can be of assistance.

Medical Professionals:

  • Please contact the Red Cross at 707-577-7600 for volunteer placement and assessment. This number is used for all of Sonoma County.


  • Petaluma People Services Center is looking for Emergency Home Shares. They are looking to find temporary housing for those displaced by the fire. If you are interested in hosting please contact PPSC SHARE Sonoma County at

  • Petaluma Vet Memorial Building

  • Petaluma Fairgrounds:

  • Medical Professional Sign Up for shifts at the fairgrounds.

  • (*Volunteer shifts rotate every 4 hours): 15-20 volunteers for shifts taking place 7am-12noon (this shift is covered now); 12noon- 5pm; 5pm-10pm. 5-7 volunteers for hours of 10pm-3am; 3am- 7am. Enter the fairgrounds from Gate #3 (Payran St). Park in the livestock area. Check in at Herzog Hall to be assigned a job.

  • Elks Lodge: (2105 South McDowell Blvd) Call 707-763-0901 ext 0 first for future volunteer needs (currently at capacity for volunteers).

  • Lucchesi Center: (320 N McDowell Blvd - 707-778-4380)

  • Volunteers needed overnight for upcoming shifts. Sign up at site. (10/11/17)

  • Calvary Chapel: Doing 6 hours shifts. Call to sign up for future shifts (707) 766-1567

  • Casa Grande Parking Lot - Student Parking lot needs cleaning due to lots of people going through this week

  • New Life Christian Center: Volunteer Sign Up

Santa Rosa/Rohnert Park/Sebastopol

  • Santa Rosa Fairgrounds: Needs help feeding livestock. Expecting more to show up animals to show up this afternoon.

  • Sonoma County Red Cross Red Cross is in need of volunteers to assist fire evacuees. Red Cross has exhausted their volunteer pool and many additional hands are now needed during this emergency. Anyone interested can call 707-573-3399 to volunteer or signup via their website at

  • Redwood Empire Food Bank All needs are met currently. Check back at 3pm for update of needs. Call first: 573-3399 for potential volunteer needs. To volunteer click here

  • Elsie Allen High School - 599 Bellevue Avenue: needs volunteers starting at 4am on Wed 10/11/17. Elsie Allen is in need of doctors and nurses for medically fragile evacuees. Sign up here >

  • Analy High School - 6950 Analy Ave Sebastopol

  • Sonoma Valley High - 20000 Broadway, Sonoma, CA: in need of clothing donations

  • Santa Rosa Memorial: needs medical staff

  • American Red Cross: Doubletree Hotel in R.P. Training at 9am-5pm

  • Hopalong and Second Chance: In desperate need of animal fosters, particularly kittens. To foster, go to Also REALLY NEED supplies immediately. If you can, PLEASE DONATE.

Marin County

  • New Life Church: will be opening a NEW an Evacuation Center.🔺 4 TEAMS TO VOLUNTEER FOR: Check In / Registration, Security, Hospitality, and Donation Station. [Shift Sign-up & Info Link below] We need Volunteers AROUND THE CLOCK (starting at 12pm Thurs). Shifts are 4 hours, sign up for back to back shifts if possible.

Napa County

  • Napa Valley College - Seeking volunteers to help sort donations. Currently in need of the following: - Pillowcases (new), Sanitary wipes, Tampons, Pads, Flip flops, shower sandals, Blankets, sheets (new), Under clothes (new) (all sizes and genders), Lip balm, Baby clothes (new), Pillows (new), respiratory masks, water

Spots to donate household items in Bay Area that will take items to Northern California (Marin, Sonoma, Napa spots listed in towards end of this link):

  • Cowgirl Creamery/Tomales Bay shops in San Francisco and Tomales Bay

  • 123 Go! Records

Where to get help if you've been directly affected:


• Amy’s Drive Thru in Rohnert Park: offering free meals to those evacuated. If you choose to pay for a evacuees meal, 100% of that money will be donated to help in the aids effort. (10/10/17 3:30pm)

• Nopalito (10/10/17): offering free burritos from 11-3 (1905 Bodega Ave)

• McGuires is offering free food

• Mystic Theatre/McNears (10/10/17): Serving Breakfast 9-11, Serving Lunch-soup and sandwiches from 12-3, Serving Dinner from 5-8. They can deliver or make meals to go. Contact them directly at 707-765-2121

• Sauced BBQ Restaurant (10/10/17): Serving free food from 9-4, offering place to rest and view TV

• Sweet Zone (10/10/17): Offering free Gelato

• Quinua Restaurant (10/10/17): Offering free lunch

• Lagunitas, Tap Room (10/10/17): Giving away free water- bring containers and they will fill them

• The Drawing Board (10/10/17): Offering food delivery to those in need, plus a special menu for firefighters and victims.


• Comcast (10/10/17) FREE Internet/Comcast/Xfinity: Removed restrictions and opened their WiFi hotspots for all to use through Fri. 10/13 Log in as “Guest”.

• Copperfield’s Books Petaluma: Free wifi, allows dogs, water, stickers & crayons for children

• Mystic Theatre/McNears/The Roaring Donkey (10/10/17): Offering laptops for fire victims to use if they need to get a hold of their financial institutions or family. Ask for Sierra Bradley.

• Roaring Donkey has laptops set up and wifi and chargers for people, as needed.


• Petaluma Swim Center (10/10/17): Offering showers 8:30-10:30 am and 3:00-5:30 pm today. (Soap, Shampoo and Towels provided)

• Synergy Health Club (10/10/17): Offering free showers plus towels to those in need. Also a place to relax with couches and TV.


• Adventure Recreation – 2200 Petaluma Blvd. N. will be open until 6pm for kids to play out of the smoke. Free for fire victims. Proceeds from others will be donated to relief efforts.

• Petaluma Bowling Alley (10/10/17): Offering a free space to hang out and play games

• Sax’s Joint – 317 Petaluma Blvd. S – Collecting Men’s Basketball shorts and sweats, as well as socks and underwear for both men and women from 6am-4pm Tues. 10:10 to distribute to shelters.

• California Academy of Sciences Free, safe place for families during the day

• Ethical Clothing – 122 Kentucky Street. 707-769-8564. Open Tuesday. The middle room of the store is a free clothing boutique for those in need. For non-evacuees, they will also sell newly donated items for $25 a piece and donate the money to those in need.

• Yoga Hell: Free yoga classes, plus an easy drop-off donation site for locals


• Petaluma Animal Shelter (10/10/17) – Snuggle Shuttle @ Petaluma Community Center at Lucchesi Park (707-778-7387) Offering pet food, water, boarding, and lost and found pet information.

• Strong’s Second Chance Ranch (10/10/17): Offering to home horses, can message on Facebook

• Chanslor Ranch – Bodega Bay, Offering free beds and campsite. Kid and pet friendly. (707) 875-2721

• Sonoma Humane Society – 5345 Highway 12 West, Santa Rosa. Taking in animals for boarding, lost & found animals. No cost vet treatment for burn victims, owned or stray animals affected by fires. Open 8-5 daily.

• Unleashed Dog Training for boarding and if you need a place to hang. Call at 707.763.9882

• Marin Humane Society offering free boarding

• Misc animal issues: Anyone encountering animal related issues can call 707-565-4406. This number will be available 24/7 until further notice. Donations can also be made through this line. Please be prepared to share information about the number of animals, type of animals, address and location for the animals, and any information about the families associated with the animals, if known.

• Adding: Better Homes and Gardens in Sebastopol will give you a cup of coffee and wifi and you can charge your phone. 186 Main st Sebastopol.