All too often, the news is filled with upsetting reports of the devastating effects of tornadoes, hurricanes, typhoons, floods, tsunamis, and other forces of nature.
In their aftermath, many people want to know how to aid those who've been displaced or injured. Here are some ways that families can help.
Make a Donation
When there's a disaster, many worthy local, national, and international organizations will be looking for donations. Before giving, do some homework to be sure the organization is legitimate and learn how they will use your donation.
Here are some charitable organizations that help people affected by crises and natural disasters:
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- American Red Cross
- Doctors Without Borders
- Save the Children
- International Rescue Committee
- Mercy Corps
- Partners in Health
It's OK if your family doesn't have a lot to give. Every donation, regardless of size, helps to rebuild when communities are hit by natural disasters.
Lend a Hand
While monetary donations are always appreciated, they're not the only way that families can get involved. Here are other ways that you and your kids can help out:
- Donate clothes, food, or other items. Check with your local Red Cross chapter, community center (like the YMCA), or place of worship to find out whether you can drop off donations or if there's another way your family can contribute. You might suggest donating your time to help sort through donations and/or delivering goods to families affected by the disaster.
- Organize a fundraiser. Perhaps you could help your place of worship or local school organize a fundraiser to collect money or supplies for disaster victims. For a donation drive, ask the organization you'd like to donate to whether it needs the items you plan to send. Sometimes, charities get too many donations and have to spend money storing or handling the excess items.
- Organize a community event. Talk to your place of worship, child's school, or community center about organizing a walk, run, bake sale, or other activity to raise money.
If your family can't help out right now, consider contributing in the coming weeks or months. With the degree of damage in disaster-struck areas, the need for donations and funds will be ongoing and your family's help will be appreciated just as much in the future.
Why It Matters
Volunteering your time, money, or efforts not only helps the community, but also sets a good example for your kids. And helping others, especially as a family, is one of the most rewarding experiences parents and children can share.
Get more tips on how to rally together as a family to really make a difference in the lives of others.
Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD
Date reviewed: 08/31/2017