LOS ANGELES -- With the Southern California wildfires displacing more than one million people so far, the American Red Cross is mobilizing to raise funds to aid victims of the devastating fires that have ravaged the southland since Sunday.
As it has done in the past, the Red Cross reached out to the Los Angeles Dodgers to help, and within 24 hours, people were driving up to Dodger Stadium to make donations.
"We talked to our partners at KCBS/KCAL television, we did a program with the Red Cross and it was done very quickly as you can see," said Howard Sunkin, senior vice president of public affairs for the Dodgers. "The Dodgers are synonymous with Los Angeles and the nation, quite frankly, and we believe we are a rallying point for all Angelinos and we like to set that leadership bar very high."
So the Dodgers and their partners set up donation tents at the Elysian Park entrance, where volunteers with donation buckets are standing by for people to drive up and place cash and checks in the buckets.
"Dodger Stadium has always been a very gracious host to the American Red Cross, opening up its gates here and allowing us to take donations for disaster victims, not only here locally, but domestically and around the world as well," said American Red Cross spokesman Nicholas Samaniego.
The Dodgers and Red Cross raised hundreds of thousands of dollars together after Sept. 11 in 2001 and after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. According to Samaniego, all the funds raised on Friday and Monday at Dodger Stadium will go directly to help the wildfire victims.
"The money donated today here and in all of our other sites around Southern California will go to the wildfire funds setup by the American Red Cross," the organization's spokesman said on Friday. "That money will go to all the basic needs that all the affected families will have: food, clothing, shelter, prescription needs and anything they will need in the immediate aftermath of these fires. And then we will work with them to transition to a recovery phase afterwards."
The fundraiser will continue until 11 p.m. PT on Friday, and it will resume on Monday from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. Cash and check donations can be made by driving into Dodger Stadium's Sunset Avenue Gate, located at the intersection of Stadium Way and Elysian Park Avenue. Those wishing to donate to the cause will be able to line up starting at 4:30 a.m.
For people who cannot make it to Dodger Stadium or live outside the area, donations also are accepted online at the Red Cross web site, www.redcrossla.org.
Ben Platt is a national correspondent for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.