Salem volunteers needed for air quality shelter, shower trailer for evacuees

Tina Wang, a volunteer with the American Red Cross, unloads supplies are the Oregon State Fairgrounds. (Amanda Loman/Salem Reporter)

Update: United Way now also collecting donations at 1705 Silverton Road NE near the fairgrounds, in addition to their office.

The sign up link below for Marion County fairgrounds volunteering is no longer current. Volunteers can sign up for shifts at the Oregon State Fairgrounds through Marion County HERE.

Salem residents looking to lend a hand to those impacted by the wildfires can volunteer with the ARCHES Project starting Thursday, Sept. 10.

The service provider is opening an air quality shelter at First Presbyterian Church, 770 Chemeketa St. NE, for homeless and unsheltered people affected by the hazardous air in Salem. Salem’s air quality has been in the hazardous range for several days as wildfire smoke has filled the valley.

Volunteers are needed in three shifts starting at 6 p.m. Thursday and ending at 8 a.m. Friday. More information and sign-ups are available here. Volunteers must be 18 or older.

ARCHES is also bringing its mobile shower trailer to the Oregon State Fairgrounds so people displaced by the wildfires can shower. People with previous experience volunteering with the shower trailer can sign up for shifts here.

Marion County has filled all shifts for volunteers at the fairgrounds evacuation point Thursday. Sign-ups will be open later in the day for more volunteer positions Friday, county spokeswoman Jolene Kelley said. Those needs will be posted on the county’s Sign Up Genius page here.

United Way of the Mid-Willamette Valley is still collecting donations for evacuees and posted an updated list of needs Thursday morning. They no longer need bottled water or clothes. Because of the Covid pandemic, items should be new.

Current needs are:


-cleaning supplies

-sleeping bags

-air mattresses



-travel shampoos, lotion, soaps



-prepackaged food items (granola bars, etc)





Items can be dropped off at the United Way office, 455 Bliler Ave. NE in Salem, or with United Way volunteers at 1705 Silverton Road NE near the fairgrounds.

NEED HELP? If you or your organization needs volunteers to help with local wildfire relief efforts, please contact Salem Reporter at [email protected] so we can provide updated information.

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Contact reporter Rachel Alexander: [email protected] or 503-575-1241.

Rachel Alexander is Salem Reporter’s managing editor. She joined Salem Reporter when it was founded in 2018 and covers city news, education, nonprofits and a little bit of everything else. She’s been a journalist in Oregon and Washington for a decade. Outside of work, she’s a skater and board member with Salem’s Cherry City Roller Derby and can often be found with her nose buried in a book.