In light of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, as well as the fires spreading across the Pacific Northwest, celebrities and everyday people alike have been donating their money to charities like American Red Cross and Samaritan’s Purse.
While money is definitely helpful in many ways, there are also other ways we can all help those affected by these natural disasters.
1.Volunteer your time at a food bank
After hurricanes and other natural disasters, local water is often not safe to drink and food supplies are limited. As people across the US send non-perishables, local food banks usually need assistance in getting the food packaged and out to those in need. If you’re able to donate your time, you can help the victims of these tragedies firsthand by donating your time.
2.Donate your clothing
Since the school year just started, many people are using this time to go through their clothes from last year. Out with the old, in with the new! If you have items that you don’t wear or that don’t fit anymore, consider donating them to people who lost everything but the clothes on their backs. You can use a company like ThredUp or have a garage sale and donate the proceeds to your favorite charity.
3.Help with the rebuild
While many are reacting now and are passionate about helping, after weeks have gone by and the stories are no longer filling our newsfeeds, many people will sadly forget that the impact of these natural disasters will be felt for months or years to come. Once the area has been cleaned up, the rebuild will begin—and unfortunately, only about 50% of those affected by Hurricane Harvey were covered for this type of damage. Get in contact with Habitat for Humanity or Team Rubicon for information on how you can help.
4.Adopt or foster displaced furry friends
If you’re considering adopting a pet, keep a lookout all around the country. Displaced animals are being taken to shelters across the country in hopes of finding someone to love them after their own traumatic experience. If you’re not ready to commit to a permanent new addition to your family, consider fostering for a short time until they find someone to take them in for good. You can also donate your time to shelters by helping them clean or take pets on a walk. Contact your local Humane Society for more information!
5.Use your tech
There are many apps and websites that allow you to donate to the charity of your choice by doing things you already do every day. If you’re active, try Charity Miles or ResQWalk. If you like to play games, try Free Rice. You can even raise funds by simply opening a new tab on your browser using Tab for a Cause.