BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) – Efforts to help Maui wildfire victims remain strong in Kern County.

Whether through mug sale fundraisers at the Tiki-Ko bar downtown or flying out to the island to assist in person, Kern residents aren’t shying away from helping those most affected.

“We’re thinking of you, you’re in our prayers and thoughts, and we’re just trying to do what we can for you,” said Lori Dreyer, a Bakersfield resident.

Dreyer donated blood at the Houchin Community Blood Bank in hopes of contributing to medical aid. The blood bank asked locals to donate what blood, platelets and plasma they could — as soon as they could — to help the Maui wildfire victims.

“We wanted to be as preemptive as we could with getting donations in, so that we could send them to Hawaii,” said Shane Hubbard, Houchin Community Blood Bank creative development coordinator.

While the blood bank prepared to ship platelet and plasma units to the island, Hubbard said the team was told Maui has enough blood at the moment. Houchin is on stand by.

But Hubbard said Houchin always welcomes and encourages donations so that they can serve both Kern County and places that suddenly need help, such as Maui right now.

The blood bank asked specifically for as much platelet and plasma donations as possible, since these can help burn victims. Experts said platelets act like VELCRO, clumping together and helping clot burns.

“Right now, I’ll just honestly say walk in. Like walk in and donate because the sooner you donate, the more we’ll have on hand and the more we can send when we need to,” Hubbard said.

Hubbard added that the blood bank took preemptive measures because platelets can’t be sent out right away. Though it has a shelf life of approximately seven days, almost two are lost to a testing period for bacteria.

Hubbard also said residents such as Lori Dreyer were quick to jump on the chance to help however they could.

On Friday, the Kern County American Red Cross deployed three volunteers to Honolulu to help on-site.

17 News spoke with Cindy Huge, the third volunteer before she made her way through the gates at the Meadows Field Airport.

“The American Red Cross and our partners housed in shelters almost 1200 individuals [Thursday] night,” Huge said.

She added that before starting recovery efforts, the Red Cross will first figure out victims’ needs and prioritize taking care of their safety and mental health.

They’re offering mental health services, as well as guidance for those who have lost loved ones.

“We will help anyone who’s been displaced,” Huge said. “Everyone is welcome into our shelters. There is no documentation required.”

Huge, who is also the public information officer for the local Red Cross branch, guessed she’ll be on the island for three weeks, since this may be a rather long effort. Huge encouraged more to volunteer, so that new ones can “replenish” those already on the ground.

“Now if you have a loved one or someone that you care about that you cannot get in contact with, the Red Cross has established a phone number,” Huge said. “Just call 1-800 Red Cross, and then hit option number 4. And that will prompt you through to talk to an individual, to put that person’s name on the list to say you’re looking for them.”

Note: 17 News also reached out to Tiki-Ko for any fundraiser updates but did not hear back by our 5 p.m. newscast.