While natural disasters are, well, disastrous, they are also an opportunity to witness the amazing capacity of people to come together and help. I have watched brave people take their boats into the floods to save people who were stranded. Then there’s the story of the furniture store opening their doors to people who need a place to stay. All throughout the city, strangers are opening their homes to displaced strangers.
In the midst of the heartbreak, some solace can be found in the bravery and nobility of the human spirit.
There is never a good time for a disaster which is why our Virtual Giving Circles set aside a portion of our monthly donations just to help out in times like these. We’ve already researched a couple charities and will be making our final choice this weekend.
If you’re considering making a donation, consider these 3 tips…
1. Donate Cash.
In disaster after disaster, we see tons, literally tons, of donated goods that have to be thrown away when the immediate needs are past. The real problem with donated goods is there is no good way to ensure that only needed goods are received where they are needed. As a result, there is a lot of waste. Cash donations are the best way to support charities, because it let’s them get what they need, where they need it, and when they need it. Plus, they often have wholesale relationships with drug companies, hospitals, food banks, and private companies that all them to purchase goods at prices far below what we would pay.
2. Donate to Established Charities
Scammers after a disaster are such a problem that the U.S. Department of Justice created the National Center for Disaster Fraud just to investigate and prosecute these kinds of cases. Not donating to new charities and not donating to individual pleas for assistance is the easiest thing you can do to avoid getting scammed.
3. Donate Twice
In a disaster like this, there will be short term and long term needs. Make a donation right now to meet a short term need like food, water, shelter, diapers, clothing. But then make another donation to support the long term recovery. This disaster will cost billions and takes years to recover from.