As devastation continues to wreak havoc on the lives of thousands along the East Coast, an outpouring of love and donations have followed in full force. The problem? Not all of these donations will reach families in need. Not only that, sometimes even the most well-intentioned donation can cause more strain than necessary on volunteers and aid workers. Many helpers work tirelessly to clean up the wreckage and comfort those in need only to be met with an exorbitant amount of things they don’t need.
We know our intentions are pure when our hearts are heavy, viewing image after image of Hurricane Florence victims in dire circumstances. After the storm’s onset, it became apparent that the flooding would have a detrimental impact on the people of the Carolinas for many years to come. This interconnectedness we feel needs to be met with an even more actionable discernment. We must make a point to donate and provide services that will without a doubt be for the greater good.
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Donate blood at the your local American Red Cross. This act will be especially useful if you have O negative and O positive blood, which is a rarer type. If you’re not close to the aftermath, donating your blood at blood drives around the country that support victims can still be helpful and effective.
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In many instances, money is better than sending goods. If your money is sent to the right places, this can go directly to purchase what is needed at that moment. Remember, don’t donate to places that send you spammy emails and requests for funds. Seek out an organization yourself through a reliable source. Here are some legitimate avenues to send your money:
- Foundation For The Carolinas: this charity knows the region and knows where funding should be moved to and where it can do the most good.
- Help feed those in need by donating money to the Harvest Hope Food Bank.
- The United Way relief fund will be used to help families directly impacted with immediate and long term needs.
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Volunteer Your Time
In the immediate aftermath, volunteering isn’t always a viable option. Flooded areas are still unreachable and unsafe for those wishing to donate time. However, this storm is going to have a long lasting impact, and volunteers will be needed in the weeks and months to come.
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Donate Requested Goods
Many shelters are in need of items like clothing and food. However, an excess of these items can create more harm than good. There is limited storage during relief times, and an excess of items creates more work for volunteers. Your best bet is to look up what local organizations are requesting specifically.
Remember, consider the impact before blindly donating any of the following items. Make sure there is not already an overabundance and the item is one the charity is specifically requesting.
- Toys and Bicycles
- Pantry and food items
- Blankets and linens