Last week, Hurricane Florence hit the East Coast, bringing catastrophic flooding to North and South Carolina. CBS reports that at least 25 people have died and 500,000 homes or businesses are without power — and the rain has not completely receded yet. But many organizations are helping residents weathering the storm with medicine, food, shelter, and rescue teams for families and their pets. You can support their work by donating money or supplies. Here's a little more info on 10 of them:
In times of natural disaster or crisis, Americares deploys emergency response teams to provide medicine, medical supplies, and other health services on the ground. The Hurricane Florence team arrived in North Carolina last week, and has been coordinating with local health clinics to treat sick or injured residents ever since. You can support this work by donating to Americares online.
North Carolina Community Foundation
The NCCF is made up of 1,200 permanently endowed charitable funds that support education, local parks, and other initiatives in the state of North Carolina. But the foundation also has a disaster relief fund that it reactivates during hurricanes — and it's returned again for Florence. The disaster relief fund supports local nonprofits helping communities and individuals recover, and you can donate to it through the NCCF website.
The Red Cross
The Red Cross sends emergency workers onto the scene after a disaster, helping people find shelter and providing necessary vehicles and supplies. It accepts monetary donations online to fund this work, but also encourages people to give blood at one of their drives. Platelet and type O positive blood donations are "critically needed right now," according to the Red Cross website.
Founded in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, SBP helps rebuild homes after a disaster. That means hands-on gutting and mold removal work, as well as providing recovery training guides. (Those guides have been downloaded 125,000 times.) Donate to the SBP effort in Florence through this page, which also provides a price breakdown of what your contribution buys.
Diaper Bank of North Carolina
Displaced families don't have easy access to hygiene products, which is where the Diaper Bank of North Carolina comes in. The organization provides diapers for infants and toddlers, as well as other sanitary items like pads. You can donate money to help the Diaper Bank buy these supplies, or purchase the products yourself. For locals, the drop-off site is the charity's HQ in Durham, North Carolina. For helpers who live further away, check out their Amazon wishlist.
Portlight provides aid to people with disabilities after a storm. The group replaces lost medical equipment, installs accessibility equipment, improves ramping, and implements other, inclusive disaster strategies to help everyone in the community recover. Portlight is currently watching Florence and other hurricanes for opportunities to assist, and its donation page is available here.
According to its website, Harvest Hope is "the lead food bank in South Carolina for disaster response," and it's currently seeking help in stocking its pantry. Make monetary donations here, or drop off food in person at the Columbia, Florence, and Greenville locations. The most needed items include peanut butter, granola bars, cereal, and fruit cups, but you can check out the complete list for more info. And if you want to help assemble disaster food bags, fill out their online form.
Food Bank of Eastern and Central North Carolina
This nonprofit works with a large network of soup kitchens, food pantries, and shelters to fight hunger in North Carolina. In the wake of the storm, it's providing emergency assistance to this network — and it could use your help. You can make a donation here, or shop the virtual grocery store to select specific items. The Greenville, Durham, and Raleigh branches are also open and accepting food donations, like canned soups and beans or oatmeal.
Charleston Animal Society
Since last week, the Charleston Animal Society has been working around the clock to get local pets to safety. By their own count, workers have rescued at least 62 dogs, 25 kittens, and 4 bunnies — and they already have 550 animals in their care. The group is currently accepting monetary donations on their website, and also has an Amazon wishlist with lots of different dog and cat foods. If you're in the area, you can drop that food off at their address in North Charleston.
The Cajun Navy Relief
Founded in 2016, the Cajun Navy Relief rescues people stranded during floods. It's dispatched search and rescue teams during Hurricane Harvey, Irma, and now Florence. There are a couple ways to give to this nonprofit: you can donate money, supplies, or your vehicle — they take trucks, SUVs, and smaller cars.
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