It has been heartbreaking to see the images and hear the stories from Texas as people begin to pick up the pieces and put their lives back together in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. Now, residents of South Florida are bracing for impact from Hurricane Irma, which has already devastated much of the Caribbean.
Our hearts go out to all those affected, but luckily we can do more than offer our thoughts and prayers. Below is a list of 13 different organizations that are working to restore people’s businesses, homes and lives in Texas, Florida & the Caribbean. I encourage you to pick one that speaks to your heart and give back in any way you can. A little goes a long way and together we can make a huge difference!
1. There is an immediate need for volunteer nurses in Florida. If you’re a nurse and able to help, email HelpFL@FLhealth.gov.
2. Volunteer your home to Hurricane Irma evacuees through Airbnb here.
3. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of Texas (ASPCA) is providing disaster relief to pets affected by Hurricane Irma. Those who wish to donate can do so here.
4. Global Giving’s Irma Relief Fund is accepting donations here. This fund will provide relief to survivors in the form of emergency supplies like food, water, and medicine as well as longer-term recovery assistance to help residents rebuild in the US & Caribbean. Global Giving vets the local organizations it helps fund so you can rest assured your donation will get to people who need it.
5. Feeding Florida is Florida’s food bank network that serves the entire state. Every dollar donated benefits statewide food banks, which will provide food and supplies to individuals impacted by Irma. You can make donations here.
6. The Houston Food Bank helps feed hungry families and individuals throughout southeast Texas and continues to serve residents impacted by Hurricane Harvey. Online donations can be made here.
7. Our furry friends in Texas still need help too! Donate to the SPCA of Texas here.
8. The Red Cross is one of the largest and most effective disaster relief organizations. Donate $10 (or more if you’re able) to the Red Cross here. There is a drop down to select which effort you wish to support. While the Red Cross has received recent criticism, they remain one of the best equipped organizations when it comes to dealing with natural disasters.
9. There is also a tremendous need for Red Cross volunteers. Once you fill out the application form here, you’ll be provided a link to undergo a background check. Volunteers will be needed in the immediate aftermath of the storm as well as for long-term cleanup.
10. The Salvation Army is on the front lines of disaster relief efforts, providing food trucks, shelters & and ongoing support to hurricane victims. Click here to make a donation. You can also find updates on their efforts here.
11. UNICEF provides emergency supplies to children and families impacted by natural disasters. They are currently positioned in the U.S. and Caribbean to respond to the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. You can send a donation to UNICEF here.
12. The American University of Antigua has set up a fund to provide relief to residents of Barbuda, which was nearly decimated by Irma. Click here to make a contribution to this fund.
13. OXFAM provides aid to the most vulnerable members of society and is assisting with cleanup and rebuilding efforts in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. You can donate to OXFAM here.
14. Both St. Thomas and St. John of the U.S. Virgin Islands were devastated by the stom. You can donate directly to the USVI here.
Tip: Vet before you donate! Both Charity Navigator and Charity Watch provide ratings and accreditation status of various charitable organizations so you can be sure your donation is secure and gets to those who need it.
Are there any other organizations you think should be on this list? Please share below!