Are you in Sonoma, Mendocino, or Napa County? Are you bilingual?

Anywhere in the U.S.? You are needed Now!

This post will be updated. Do check back.

Please link this notice to others on your social media:

Help and information in this conflagration are difficult enough to navigate in English. In Sonoma, Napa, and Mendocino counties more than one out of five people are limited English speaking. Their need to access emergency services of all kinds is just as urgent, and in many cases more urgent, than for English speakers. The need for your help is enormous.

If you're bilingual in Spanish, Tigrinya, Tagalog, Chinese, Korean, in fact, in any language, your dual language skills are invaluable. You are needed right now and will be needed for many months to come. Our counties have over 40 spoken languages. In many ways the smaller language population groups are more in need of help than the larger language groups.

If you're outside the fire area, anywhere in the U.S., you can help too, especially if you're willing to familiarize yourself with our emergency services. Text translations are also urgently needed.

You will make a world of difference for families in need. You can do this work from your home, with a phone and a laptop.


* You should be sufficiently bilingual to be able to communicate sensitively with traumatized individuals and be able to work through bureaucratic tangles in both languages.

* You should have regular times of availability.

* Be willing to make phone calls, gather needed information, to interpret (oral) and/or translate (text), care and nurture.

* Ideal would be if you could connect with one family and work with them through to recovery. It may be that some people will need only spot help, say with filling out a form or getting a question or two answered, others may need more extensive help navigating multiple systems.

* Be willing to volunteer your valuable services to fire victims for no pay.

How to Connect:

Early on it's going to be next to impossible to connect and coordinate to offer your services to official emergency services such as police or red cross, though, of course, you can try if you wish. Here are some examples of places where it's likely to be easier to connect and coordinate. You can probably think of many more.

* Call or email area churches, child care centers, food banks, pharmacies, schools, clinics, shelters, women's centers, animal welfare, non profits, and other institutions that are likely to be overwhelmed with non English speakers.

* Call or email area bilingual media, such as KBBF or La Voz. These media are already stretched to the limit trying to broadcast emergency information. At the same time fire victims are calling them for help. Offer your services.

* Keep trying. Organizations are so over-stressed they often aren't answering phones or even returning calls. So keep trying. You're needed.

Tips for Helping:

* Introduce yourself. Explain your role. Tell the person what you can and can't do. 

* Know your limits. Don't give information you're not sure about. Be willing and able to hunt down correct information. 

* LISTEN to their needs. Help them prioritize.

* Have at hand, and ask them to have at hand, pen and paper, or preferably a notebook. 

* Clearly outline and clearly communicate steps of action for yourself and/or them as appropriate. You and they, WRITE THEM DOWN!

* Check and double check names, phone numbers, times to reconnect, how best to leave messages, back up contact info such as email, close friends, etc. Write it all down! Have them write it all down. Your help is only as strong as the bridge you make for reconnecting!

*  Comfort and Encourage!

Local Resources:

Click here for a starter list of local resources, 

and here

Interpreter and Translator Resources:

* Language Identification Card with Instructions on how to use it (pass this on to emergency service organizations)

* Code of Conduct for Interpreters and Translators

* The Interpreter's Cafe

* Breaking the Silence; Interpreting for Victim Services

* Quick Tips for Using an Interpreter English Spanish

Please link this notice to others on your social media:                                                                                                                                          

Thank you,...........admin, Women's Justice Center,

(and, yes, if you wish you can donate here.) 

And Another Thing.....Do You Speak Code?


If you're adept at creating a searchable web platform with input forms, we need you! You don't have to be bilingual, except, of course, for computer code. This web platform could then be used (a) for bilingual interpreters and translators to input their skills and availabilities, and (b) for fire victims and organizations to use their services. The platform would be searchable for variables such as 'language' 'translation' 'interpreting' 'available times', etc.

 If you're our geek angel, contact Marie at:

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