The devastation of Hurricane Dorian has pummeled the Bahamas and the US east coast. When disaster strikes, we feel compelled to rally around our neighbors and support them. Here are four easy ways you can make a lasting impact from near or far.
Make a Financial Gift
Often the best way to support affected communities is by donating money to local churches or organizations in the area. These funds can be used for supporting members directly, supporting restoration efforts, and getting supplies to those in need.
Monetary donations can be collected and dispersed quickly and easily, contributing to the long-term recovery efforts beyond the initial devastation. No matter how much you give, each dollar makes an impact.
Giving blood is especially meaningful in the wake of natural disasters due to increased demand from hospitals. Unlike other medical supplies, blood has a short shelf life and can’t be stockpiled. If you are eligible to give blood, you can help today.
To schedule an appointment at a donation center near you, visit the American Red Cross.
Churches and organizations in disaster-stricken areas often request items such as cleaning supplies, batteries, first-aid kits, water, and diapers. Look for drop locations in your community that handle the leg work of transporting supplies to the areas in need. Major big box stores and community centers are great places to check.
And don’t forget about our furry friends in disaster zones. Shelters tend to get inundated with lost pets and displaced animals after these events. Check with animal shelters in the affected areas to see if you can help provide food and supplies.
If you live in or near affected communities, volunteering with long-term recovery organizations can be a great way to pitch in. Assess your skillset, your time available to commit, and find opportunities where you can make an impact.
If you live outside of the affected area and still want to volunteer, consider looking into virtual options on Volunteer Match. You can volunteer for disaster relief efforts right from your computer.