How To Help Hurricane Survivors
October 3, 2017
For Hurricane Maria, there are three ways that the public can help provide support for survivors in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The Fastest Way to Help – Cash is Best
This gives trusted charity organizations the ability to purchase what survivors need right now. In addition, when these organizations purchase goods or services locally, they pump money back into the local and regional economy, helping businesses recover faster.
The National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD) list trusted organizations receiving donations, many of which are already coordinating relief and response efforts in the Caribbean, https://www.nvoad.org/. To make a cash donation directly to the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, visit www.unitedforpuertorico.com.
It is important to remember unsolicited donated goods (e.g., clothing, miscellaneous household items, and mixed or perishable foodstuffs) require voluntary agencies to redirect valuable resources away from providing services to sort, package, transport, warehouse, and distribute items that may not meet the needs of disaster survivors.
To responsibly donate goods, the NVOAD website, https://www.nvoad.org/ has information on non-profit organizations accepting or registering individual and corporate in-kind donations.
Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands ask that volunteers not self-deploy, as unexpected arrival in affected communities creates an additional burden for first responders. Volunteers must register first. To register as an affiliated volunteer with a voluntary or charitable organization, visit the National VOAD, https://www.nvoad.org/ for a list of partners active in disaster. Alternatively, you may register to volunteer for partner organizations to reach out to you.