2017’s hurricane season was the worst in recent memory. Hurricane Harvey decimated the eastern coast of Texas, including Houston. Hurricanes Irma and Maria left an unimaginable swath of destruction through Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, and Florida.
According to The Weather Channel, September of 2017 has been the most active month hurricanes since Katrina hit in 2005. Fortunately, in the wake of this destruction, organizations have rallied to help.
Here’s how charitable organizations are helping clean up in the wake, and how you can get involved:
ConPRmetidos is a non-partisan non-profit organization based in San Juan, Puerto Rico. 100% of donations are used exclusively to aid recovery efforts for what has been the largest natural disaster in a century for the island. The organization connects local entrepreneurs to recruiting companies on the island that are focused on rebuilding the island’s infrastructure. The organization focuses upon restoring power to the island, especially to the island’s poorest and most vulnerable areas.
The Miami Foundation
The name of this charity is a bit of a misnomer. While The Miami Foundation provides relief to those affected by hurricanes in Florida, they are also integral to recovery efforts throughout the entire Caribbean.
The American Red Cross
The American Red Cross is the first name many think of when it comes to disaster recovery. Indeed, the Red Cross has launched a massive recovery effort for survivors of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. The Red Cross provides shelter, food, medical care, and basic hygiene supplies to hurricane survivors. Most importantly, the Red Cross offers compassion and a shoulder for survivors to lean on.
Global Giving is the world’s largest crowdfunding organization dedicated to disaster relief. Their mission is to connect nonprofits, donors, and companies around the globe with areas in need of assistance. Their website allows people to easily share their ideas about what needs to be done. In addition, their website allows companies to make vetted donations to the organizations in most need of aid.
Oxfam’s mission focuses upon fighting the injustice of poverty. In the wake of Irma and Maria, Oxfam has increased their advocacy at the national level to demand more aid for Puerto Rico, where millions remain without power or running water. Their efforts also include boots on the ground efforts where they are aiding the mayor of San Juan to purchase and distribute portable gas stoves so that individuals can boil water to make it safe for drinking.
Save the Children
Save the Children’s mission is to ensure that every child has a fair start in life with access to health care, education, food, and shelter. Currently, their mission involves helping Hurricane Irma and Maria’s most vulnerable victims — the children. They are on the ground in both Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. Their focus is on helping children and their families to rebuild their lives in the midst of destruction.
The United Way
The United Way has launched an international fund dedicated to aiding the victims of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. Their efforts include helping victims of historic flooding to rebuild their homes and lives. The organization received a $1 million donation from the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation upon its launch of the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund.
How You Can Help
All of the organizations listed are in dire need of cash donations to fund their recovery efforts, so the easiest way to help is simply to give. If you’re a bit strapped for cash, you can still aid victims by donating blood with the American Red Cross. Finally, all of the organizations listed above are also seeking volunteers, and many even have career opportunities open for those who wish to make a career out of helping others.
There’s no doubt that 2017 was a historically bad year for disasters. It’s terrible to see footage of the devastation. Yet, in the midst of this historic destruction, it’s wonderful to watch people come together to help each other recover.