CHURCHES OFFERING HELP
* Crystal Cathedral, 12141 Lewis St., Garden Grove, (714) 971-4000: The Rev. Robert H. Schuller will give a special sermon and offer prayers for the fire victims during all Sunday services at 8:30, 9:30 and 11 a.m. The Crystal Cathedral is working with the Red Cross to provide temporary housing at the church's Rancho Capistrano retreat. Also, the Churches United in Global Mission, which is chaired by Schuller, will set up a relief program involving 350 churches nationwide. Support for fire victims is also available through the New Hope Counseling Center's 24-hour hot line (dial NEW-HOPE).
* University Synagogue, 4915 Alton Parkway, Irvine, (714) 553-3535: Rabbi Arnold Rachlis is planning a special sermon called "When Bad Things Happen to Good People" during the worship service tonight at 7:30. The service will include a discussion with adults and children about their fears and reactions during the fires. The synagogue is also arranging for temporary housing of fire victims.
* Catholic Diocese of Orange, Marywood Center, 2811 Villareal Drive, Orange, (714) 974-7120: The diocese is coordinating help for fire victims and has asked all 53 Catholic parishes in Orange County for prayers and to provide assistance. Those in need can call (714) 662-7500.
* Laguna Beach Presbyterian Church, 415 Forest Ave., Laguna Beach, (714) 494-7555: Members are working with the American Red Cross and helping to arrange housing for victims. Their Sunday services are at 9 and 10:30 a.m.
* Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, 3800 S. Fairview Road, Costa Mesa, (714) 979-4422: Members are coordinating offers of housing, clothing, transportation and food for the fire victims. Their Sunday worship services are at 7:45, 9:30 and 11:15 a.m.
ANSWERS TO INSURANCE QUESTIONS
If your home or vehicle has been damaged or destroyed by fire,call your insurance agent. State insurance regulations require your insurer to provide you with claim forms, instructions and assistance, if needed, within 15 days of your claim. If you cannot reach your agent and need help or advice, you may call your insurance company's consumer hot line for instructions. Toll-free phone numbers for major insurers serving Southern California:
Company: Phone Allstate (800) 755-4126 Automobile Club of Southern California (800) 672-5246 Crusader Insurance Co. (800) 669-9800 Farmers Group of Insurance Cos. (800) 543-5736 Fireman's Fund Insurance Cos. (800) 548-HELP ITT Hartford Insurance Group (800) 243-5860 Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. (800) 303-9801 Mercury Insurance Group (800) 431-6654 Progressive Corp.* (800) 777-3030 State Farm Insurance Cos. (800) SF CLAIM Safeco Insurance Co. of America (800) 452-7117 20th Century Insurance (800) 443-3100 USAA (800) 531-8222 * Auto insurance only; Progressive does not write homeowners policies in California
Fire victims needing to apply for federal disaster assistance can come to two workshops sponsored by the Internal Revenue Service, officials said. The session will be held 1 p.m. Saturday and 6 p.m. Monday at the Chet Holifield Federal Building in Laguna Niguel. Disaster losses from this week's fires may be claimed on federal tax returns for 1993 or 1994, and can result in a tax refund. Call: (714) 643-4069.
For fire victims, seeking legal help may be the last thing that comes to mind. But the Orange County Bar Assn. is setting up a task force to provide legal services.
Orange County attorneys are being asked to volunteer to provide advice about legal concerns fire victims may have after the shock of losing a home, car, personal possessions and important documents wears off, said Jennifer Keller, bar association secretary and an Irvine attorney.
Concerns include insurance coverage, landlord and tenant issues, how to apply for federal government assistance and what to do if legal documents, such as wills, were destroyed.
A workshop for attorneys wishing to volunteer services will be at 10 a.m. Saturday at the bar association office, 601 Civic Center Drive West, Santa Ana. Representatives of the Alameda County Bar Assn. (where the Oakland fire ravaged the city in October, 1991), and from the Federal Emergency Management Agency will be on hand.
The bar association also has waived its $25 fee for attorney referrals for fire victims. The bar association also is offering short-term office space at its headquarters for attorneys whose offices were destroyed or damaged in the fire. Keller said a number of lawyers who live and practice in Laguna Beach lost their homes and offices. Donations of empty office space from member attorneys is also being sought.
The bar association also is calling on lawyers to make court appearances and do office work for attorneys whose homes and offices were affected. Call (714) 541-6222.
READERS REACHING OUT
The Times Orange County is offering its pages to readers who want to help fellow residents cope with losses from the devastating fires.
Businesses, individuals or organizations in a position to offer free help are invited to submit that information for publication in The Times at no charge. Simply call (714) 966-5600, Ext. 62222and tell what free service or contribution you can provide. As an alternative, readers may call Times Link at 808-8463 and press *8320 to leave a recorded message. Please provide your name, address and phone number.
The victims of the fires have many practical needs that cannot be met by relief agencies but can be by their neighbors here in Orange County.
Among the Goods and Services Needed * Transportation, shelter and food * Clean-up * Child-care * Boarding of pets or horses * Counseling * Serving as drop-off points for the contributions of goods * Communications with relatives * Providing fresh water and other drink * Medical services Today's listings appear on page 6.