Disasters happen all over our country, and when they do we want to know how we can help. Whether it’s giving money, donating time, finding a way to donate clothes to Red Cross locations, or starting a fundraiser, here are three ways you can help when others are hurting:
- Donate money directly. For a lot of people, donating money directly feels impersonal. They’d rather head straight to the disaster area with bottles of water and blankets. But in reality, most of the time money is one of the best ways to help out. It’s often the fastest way to get real help to others. Just be aware that though it’s easier to send a donation via text message, the charities are actually going to get the money fastest if you go through their websites. As you consider donating money, also consider your timing. Usually donations pour in right after news of a disaster gets out. Later, though, people may be just as desperately in need, but donations have started dying out as the disaster passes out of the news cycles. Consider holding your donation for a later date when it might actually be even more valuable.
- Donate more than money. While it’s true that money is often the fastest kind of donation after a disaster, and sometimes the most valuable, used clothing donations and donations of household items are also extremely important. If you donate clothes to Red Cross centers, for example, some of those items may go directly to people and charities within the disaster area. A lot of them, however, can be sold to fund Red Cross efforts over the long term.
Every day of the year, all across America, the Red Cross is providing blankets, food, blood, and shelter for the needy, whether after a disaster or just in general. Donate clothes to Red Cross donation centers, and they can be sold at steep discount to people who will really appreciate usable items at affordable prices. The proceeds will fund the charity’s ongoing costs.
- Raise money and awareness at the same time. A school fundraiser, church event, or community fundraiser can be a great way to gather donations of all kinds. If you haven’t got much money and don’t have a lot of clothes or other goods to donate, this kind of fundraising can be a way to help by donating your time. Plus, it can help everyone deal with their feelings after a disaster by providing an avenue for making a difference. These days the internet also makes it easy to start crowdfunding campaigns for charities or even for individuals in areas of disaster.
If you feel the urge to help when disaster strikes, that’s natural and good. Whether you can give money, want to donate clothing, or are looking to organize others, find effective ways to make a difference in the places and times that will matter most.