WHAT CAN I DO ABOUT... HURRICANE IRMA?
Hurricane Irma roared through the Caribbean and Florida, leaving at least 38 people dead, many more injured, and destruction of homes and infrastructure in its wake. Supplies are running low, people are without power in high heat, and recovery will be extensive.
It’s a challenge to provide help to impacted areas as even residents can’t make it home. But you can pitch in for long-term assistance to get communities back on their feet.
(this post will be updated as more information becomes available)
Face the fatigue, then fight it
You're getting worn out. Back-to-back hurricanes have wreaked havoc on the U.S. You're asked left and right for donations. Updates are flooding your newsfeed and draining your passion to step in.
Don't feel guilty. This is normal and human, and you're allowed to feel it. But it won't do you any good unless you face it head-on and handle it in a tangible way.
Schedule guaranteed time off from social media (or wherever else you get your news). Maybe 2 hours, maybe 2 days. Put a reminder on your phone to start the break and another to end the break. Most importantly: schedule a time when your break is over to get your butt back to this page and make moves. Let's find a solution that you can accomplish within your own life. Check out our next few ideas to get your brain churning.
Double your moulah
Get more for your dollar! Disasters are pricey, and those giant relief budgets look unattainable to the most of us. So, it's time to shop for deals.
Google’s got you covered by matching your donation dollar-for-dollar. Pitch in and send twice the help to the top aid organizations that are working to provide disaster relief.
You can also check in with your employer or favorite places to shop. Many companies are matching donations, so you could give extra bucks.
TIP: Keep track of your donations
Schedule your next trip
You shelled out some of your own hard-earned cash to help others - because you're awesome like that.
Don’t close the books when the money’s been spent. Keep track of your donations, so that you can write them off come tax season. You’ll get a deduction for charitable efforts, and everyone wins.
Check out these tips from Forbes. Don't save it for April - get on it now so no dollar goes un-checked.
Do you want to get hands-on and help directly with the clean-up, but are finding that it’s not easy to pick up and go? Even so, in some cases, self-deploying in the immediate aftermath can create a logistical burden for aid organizations. Don't fret - you've got time.
It’ll take months, if not years, to completely recover after Irma. Put a reminder on your calendar for a few months from today to check in with disaster relief organizations to see how you can help. Even better - plan it for your next family or friends vacation, and invite someone to join you.
Swing by your local blood drive
Some hospitals in Irma's path have gone without power or with limited resources. They're stretched thin, but still need to provide for patients.
Help 'em out. Find your nearest blood bank and donate. It only takes about an hour, so you can schedule it on your lunch break, between errands, or before you meet a friend for dinner.
Poll your people
Tomorrow, talk to someone in your circle - at your next happy hour, housewarming party, or when you're waiting for a meeting to start.
Poll the people you’re closest to and find out: what are they doing? Do they have family members who evacuated and are looking for tips on how to distract their kids in a new state? Do they have a friend who is overwhelmed by insurance or FEMA paperwork and could use a proof-reader? You might find more unique and personal ways to connect through the folks who you're closest to.
But don’t forget: do a little digging on your own to verify before you send money, goods, or yourself anywhere. Start with Charity Navigator, and spend a few minutes on Google.
Did we miss something awesome?
Share your ideas!
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