Five Ways to Help Hurricane Florence Victims
Want to help those affected by Florence? 💔
While rivers in the Carolinas have finally receded, many areas are still under water from the devastating storm that hit the East Coast mid-September. Many area residents are still in shelters and thousands more are dealing with the massive job of cleaning up their homes.
According to the Red Cross, somewhere between 8,000 to 10,000 homes may have suffered major damage or were completely destroyed by Florence. So while the immediate crisis is over, there are lingering issues that people will have to deal with as they try to rebuild their lives.
Here’s how you can help. ❤️
1. Make a donation.
One of the easiest ways to help is to donate money, and there are a lot of ways you can donate!
- Visit the American Red Cross or you can also call 1-800-REDCROSS or text FLORENCE to 90999 to make a donation for those in need.
- Donate to the Salvation Army here or by calling 1-800-SALARMY.
- Give on the Food Bank website or by mailing checks to 1924 Capital Blvd., Raleigh, NC 27604.
- Contribute to the North Carolina Disaster Relief Fund online, by texting FLORENCE to 20222, or mailing a check to the address listed on their website.
- South Carolina is soliciting donations for the One SC Fund, which supports nonprofits that help state residents recover from natural disasters.
- Donate to the Hurricane Florence Children’s Relief Fund. Your gift will help Save the Children respond to the unmet needs of children affected by this disaster.
- Give to the United Way Disaster Relief Funds here – 100% of individual donations given to these disaster recovery funds will be distributed to the affected areas.
Be sure to keep receipts if you intend to claim monetary donations on your tax return.
Be wary of scams.
Before making a donation to a pop-up organization or to a phone solicitor, the Federal Trade Commission suggests referring to sites like the Charity Navigator, Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance, and Charity Watch. Other ways to be safe:
- Avoid making cash donations.
- Hang up on pushy solicitors asking for money or who promise huge returns on redeveloping hurricane-ravaged areas.
- Be skeptical of “pop-up” charity organizations, GoFundMe type pages, and websites appearing right after a disaster.
If you’re rebuilding after a natural disaster, check with your insurance company and/or your state’s regulator from the North American Securities Administrators Association.
2. Donate diapers and feminine products.
The Diaper Bank of North Carolina in Durham is collecting donations for diapers and feminine hygiene products for people displaced by the storm. You can also buy items on the group’s Amazon wish list. The organization is also asking for volunteers and donations of diapers, wipes, and sanitary pads.
If you live in Durham or want to mail your own packages to the diaper bank, you can drop off or mail diapers, wipes, and sanitary pads to their headquarters at 1311 East Club Blvd. Durham, NC 27704.
3. Give to food banks.
The Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina, which serves an area stretching from the Research Triangle to the coast, including Wilmington and New Bern, is collecting donations.
The most needed items for disaster relief are:
- High-protein canned meals with pop-top cans (ravioli, soups, spaghetti)
- Paper goods and products (paper towels/plates/cups/napkins, plastic utensils)
- Hygiene products (shampoo, soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, hand sanitizer, etc.)
- Single serving meals that do not require refrigeration or cooking/meals ready to eat
- Single serving snacks such as raisins and granola bars
- Peanut Butter
- Cleaning supplies and disinfectant wipes
4. Volunteer for recovery efforts.
Officials are asking for people to volunteer with established organizations to help with relief, response, and recovery efforts. The response is ongoing and volunteer opportunities will be posted as they become available. Check out the following opportunities to learn more about volunteering:
- Volunteer opportunities are available in North Carolina on the state website and in South Carolina on the United Way Association of South Carolina website.
- You can also visit the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster website. NVOAD connects volunteers with opportunities on the ground as the situation becomes safe for volunteers (please do not self-deploy). United Way is a member of NVOAD.
- Red Cross needs help maintaining and setting up sheltering facilities, registering clients, maintaining client information, serving meals, and general housekeeping. If you live in these areas and are willing to volunteer for a 6-12 hour shift, please apply now.