FLORIDA (KNWA) — Americans are coming together to ask how they can help those who have lost so much to Hurricane Michael.
There are many ways to help survivors and ensure that a contribution is carried out responsibly.
A monetary donation is the best way to help, according to Kevin Smith, director of the Department of Homeland Security Center for Faith and Opportunity Initiatives.
“Don’t send stuff, send money,” Smith said. “The best way to help survivors is to donate time and money to trusted organizations.”
A Federal Emergency Management Agency news release stresses that the most effective way to support the recovery of hurricane and tropical storm-affected communities is to donate money to trusted voluntary, faith and community-based charitable organizations.
“This gives these organizations the ability to purchase what survivors need right now,” the news release states. “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 those organizations are already coordinating relief and response efforts in the impacted areas, according to the FEMA news release.
The NVOAD website includes a list of major non-profits active in disaster work.
Folks can also help by volunteering.
There are other websites through which relief and donations can be given.
Florida government officials said that people can donate to the Florida Disaster Fund by visiting www.FloridaDisasterFund.org, or texting DISASTER to 20222 to make a one-time donation of $10.
Those interested in volunteering, or looking for more ways to donate can visit www.volunteerflorida.org.
Georgia officials remind those wanting to help that cash donations are the best way to give assistance to those in need.
For a list of trusted voluntary organizations in Georgia, click here.