How can you help our neighbors to the Southeast who are dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Michael?
– Although you may be tempted to donate clothing, food, bottled water and other supplies, the majority of disaster relief organizations say that at this point financial assistance is preferred. Sorting through donated goods can become a logistical nightmare, slowing the process of trying to get the necessary help out to affected areas.
– Vet your charity. Scams are pervasive especially after natural disasters. You can get more information about a charity by visiting the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance or the Charity Navigator.
This is a list of national and local organizations in Florida and in Georgia accepting donations to help the victims of Hurricane Michael. To learn about more organizations that have been vetted and are collecting donations for Hurricane Michael relief efforts you can visit Charity Navigator.
General Aid/ Relief
American Red Cross
You can make donations for victims of Hurricane Michael by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RedCross or texting the word MICHEAL to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
The best way to make sure your donation goes to a specific disaster is to write the specific disaster name in the memo line of a check.
Americares is working with partners in the area and deploying an emergency team to provide immediate support for healthcare. Donations are accepted online.
American Kidney Fund
This medical relief organization is looking for support to help dialysis patients in communities threatened by Hurricane Michael. Emergency funds go to help patients with transportation expenses get to treatment, replace lost medications, as well as help pay for temporary housing. The organization said that 100 percent of donations will go to help dialysis patients affected by Hurricane Michael. Donate online here.
The organization has assistance programs that provide direct medical aid. They support more than 190 health facilities in the storm’s path throughout Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas.
Donations can be made here.
This charity has created a recovery fund to directly support teachers in classrooms damaged by Michael. Contributions will help teachers support their students and restock classrooms with materials like books, furniture, classroom supplies, technology and therapy resources. To support the fund visit: https://www.donorschoose.org/hurricane-michael
Feeding the Gulf Coast
The organization is collaborating with Feeding America, Feeding Florida Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) and other disaster responders to distribute food in areas affected by Hurricane Michael. The organization is asking for volunteers and monetary donations. To find out more click here.
Florida Disaster Fund
The State of Florida’s official private fund supports communities as they respond to and recover from emergencies. Funds will go to disaster-related response and recovery. To donate click here.
The disaster relief organization is attempting to raise $2 million to help Hurricane Michael victims in recovery efforts. As of Thursday (Oct. 11) they have raised $3,095. Funds will go towards relief efforts in the form of emergency supplies like food, water, and medicine. To donate online click here.
Habitat for Humanity
The organization that partners with future homeowners to build affordable housing said on its website that it is accepting donations that will be used to respond to families affected by Hurricane Michael “until Habitat for Humanity’s role in meeting the need is met.” Donations can be made online here
They are coordinating relief staging areas through their local church and non-profit networks to distribute emergency supplies such as food, water, high-quality tarps, and other supplies. You can donate online here or by calling 888-466-HOPE.
Florida Urgent Rescue
The Jacksonville, Fla. animal rescue group has been taking in dogs from rural shelters in Hurricane Michael’s path. To make a donation online click here.
Humane Society Naples
The no kill pet shelter has been active in sending out rescue teams to towns affected by the hurricane to rescue animals. You can donate here to support their efforts.
Other ways to help
Community blood centers in the affected region are urging the public to donate blood.
OneBlood: The Florida-based non-profit blood center is encouraging all eligible donors to make blood donations at one of their donor centers. You can search for their blood drives here or by calling 1-888-936-6283.
American Red Cross
The organization said that the Michael has forced the cancellation of more than a dozen blood drives, causing hundreds of units of blood to go uncollected in Alabama and Georgia. Appointments can be made by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-Red Cross.