5 Alternatives to Donating Funds for Hurricane Irma Relief
If you’ve opened any form of social media in the past few days, you’ve seen at least a shred of the destruction that Hurricane Irma has caused to the Caribbean Islands, Cuba, and Florida. There’s always a push for monetary donations, as they’re arguably one of the quickest and most effective ways to expedite relief efforts, rather than donating bulky items like clothing. Well-known organizations like Unicef, Save the Children, and Oxfam are power players when it comes to helping those affected. To help the four-legged friends and other wildlife, the South Florida Wildlife Center and the Best Friends Animal Society are accepting donations as well.
But if you aren’t able to dig deep into your pockets, that doesn’t mean you can’t help.
Florida Governor Rick Scott has put out a call for 17,000 volunteers to help handle the destruction once the brunt of the storm has passed. Organizers are encouraging people to register at volunteerflorida.org/irma/. Instead of contributing to the chaos by self-deploying and showing up at the scene, you’ll be matched with a proper organization that’s relevant to your interests. You can also visit feedingsouthflorida.org/our-programs/disaster-relief to get involved with food relief efforts directly.
With at least five confirmed deaths in the wake of Irma and countless more injured, there are some things that money can’t buy. Through the American Red Cross, you can donate blood, saving as many as three people’s lives just from donating one pint. Visit redcrossblood.org/ to learn more.
Host A Drive or Fundraising Event
Can you imagine being a baby caught up in a hurricane? The Diaper Bank of Central Florida is seeking volunteers to coordinate donations. Visit diaperbankofcentralflorida.org/get_involved to learn more about outreach in your neighborhood, school, or workplace.
Another option? At your next party, ask guests to bring their spare change and decide on a common organization to donate to. A little can turn into a lot, and it’s a great way to come together to enact change.
Use Social Media to Your Advantage
If you heard about Hurricane Irma through social media, consider how you can harness the millennial power of the internet. That ubiquitous “link in bio” one-liner is a simple way to direct your Instagram followers to a preferred charity, and Twitter can be totally explosive when you assemble those 140 characters in a compelling way. Facebook provides plenty of options to easily guide your friends to a place to donate. All you have to do is write a status, tag an organization, and add a donate button. If it’s timely, you can even donate your birthday to a specific charity. On the left sidebar under the “Explore” section, click on “Fundraisers” to get started.
Report Price Gouging
Before Irma hit, many Floridians were unable to flee the Sunshine State because of price gouging. Northbound flight prices went up fivefold while essentials like water, food, and gas were priced so far out of reach that residents simply couldn’t compete. Since Governor Scott has declared a state of emergency, businesses who engage in price-gouging practices are subject to fines as high as $25,000. If you see something fishy like this—be it locally in-store or online—collect as much evidence as you can (photos, receipts, product info, manufacturer) and report it to the Florida Attorney General through this form myfloridalegal.com/Contact.nsf/PriceGouging!OpenForm or by calling 1-866-966-7226.
Featured image via The New York Times
Stayed tuned to Milk for more ways to help out.