As the media floods us with news of the awful devastation unleashed by Hurricane Dorian through the Bahamas and while Dorian is churning towards the United States, many people are wondering how they can help. While there are tons of organizations on hand to help with immediate needs from food and medicine to shelter and protection, there will undoubtedly be in desperate need in order to rebuild whole communities.
With that in mind, I’ve compiled a list of ways that you can help right now.
You might not think to, but by donating blood you can help save lives. It doesn’t hurt, it’s quick and free, and you’d be potentially saving the life of someone who was directly impacted by the hurricane and flooding. You can check out the Red Cross here to learn how to donate blood now.
While you might be tempted to throw a bunch of blankets, towels, and old clothes into a box and ship it to affected areas, there is no guarantee that what you send is needed. Instead, send cash that can be used right away and for specific items and services that are desperately needed. You can donate to the Red Cross Disaster Relief here or look for charities you trust and want to fund through the Charity Navigator here.
Moms with babies who are breastfeeding may be especially vulnerable during hurricanes. For that reason, we want to highlight that moms who pump can donate breastmilk to charities that will get that pumped gold to babies who need it right away. For information on how to get started, check out the Mothers’ Milk Bank of Florida.
Support Diaper Banks
Another often overlooked immediate need for moms and babies are where to find diapers. When the floodwaters hit they can’t just hop over to Target to stock up. Diaper banks have become an increasingly important way to help families affected by hurricanes. To help right now, check out the National Diaper Bank Network here.
Support Animal Shelters
If you’ve got a special place in your heart for animals then consider helping with animal shelters, which are often overrun with displaced animals that need food, warmth, medicine, and care. You donate cash that will go directly to shelters in need of basic supplies. For more information check out the Humane Society’s
Support Local Food Banks
Local food banks always need help, year-round, but most especially when a natural disaster strikes. Not only do local food banks help support struggling families but they offer a beacon of hope and a lifeline to those who are displaced by the disastrous effects hurricanes like Dorian. Your dollars go straight to work rebuilding food supplies. For information on how to help, check out the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida where volunteers are poised to help.