Hurricane Matthew hit the Atlantic coast and Caribbean islands with a vengeance, destroying homes and claiming lives. In the United States, the death toll continues to climb into the 30s, with several still missing, due to the flooding. All in all, the total deaths from the category four hurricane, including Haiti and other Caribbean islands have surpassed 1,000.
Millions have been affected. Their homes have been destroyed and family members have been injured. They’re without places to live and the sustenance necessary to keep them alive until the water subsides and they’re able to rebuild.
Humanitarian aid has been distributed, but there is always a need for more. If you want to get involved in the efforts to restore normalcy to the lives of those who have been displaced, here are a few things you can do.
Don’t Go Visit
It’s tempting to hop on a jet for a quick humanitarian aid trip, but you’ll be more of a burden than anything else. It’s extremely dangerous, as the flooding hasn’t subsided and massive hurricanes usually have after effects.
It would also increase the burden of food and housing, since millions have already been displaced. If someone has to find shelter and food for you and your band of followers as well, it will only make matters worse.
Turn to Online Channels
Getting online is the best way to show your support. You can use social media to rally people together for cash donations and other forms of aid for those in need. Visiting websites for the Red Cross, Salvation Army, and other nonprofits that specialize in humanitarian aid can help you find more resources and ideas to help.
Those who are really invested in sending proper aid to those in need may begin their own humanitarian campaign in which they crowdfund for the cause and help spread awareness. They might start a blog to spread the word, obtain a nonprofit business license, and create a website to boost credibility for the cause.
Perhaps the best and most reliable way to send support is through a cash donation, even if food and clothing is more accessible. These items are good for several months after a disaster, but in the immediate months following, the humanitarian workers want to focus on administering care rather than sorting through and distributing items.
Money is by far the most flexible of donations. It allows organizations to purchase exactly what they need and eliminates the issue of collecting too much of one thing and not enough of another. It gives the people what they need, when they need it.
If you’re planning to donate money, make sure you send it to a reputable source. Unfortunately, some people like to profit from others’ disasters, and there will likely be several “organizations” who crop up, looking for donations for Hurricane Matthew victims, but are really only looking for profits for themselves.
Back a Nationally Recognized Source of Aid
Choose a nationally recognized organization and lend support however they see fit. Here’s a list of nonprofits who may need your support.
- American Red Cross
- International Red Cross
- Salvation Army
- World Vision
- Operation Blessing International
- Food for the Poor
- Mercy Corps
- Direct Relief
- Catholic Relief Services
- Save the Children
- International Medical Corps
- Global Giving
- Concern Worldwide
- Handicap International
- Samaritan’s Purse
- ActionAid USA
Any of these esteemed organizations could benefit from your donation. Research their causes and how they distribute aid to determine your choice of where to donate.