An estimated 1.2 million people have been impacted by Hurricane Irma. As many of you may or may not know, Gift Fairy is headquartered in Miami, Florida – and our neighborhood saw historic flooding. In fact, much of the area is still without of power. Despite the chaos, we are full of love and hope as the community comes together to rebuild and restore in the wake of the storm. If you’re interested in contributing your time, money, or other resources, take a look at our round up detailing the best ways to help out and give back:
Volunteer Your Time
The first rule of thumb in a natural disaster is to avoid “self-deploying”. While it might seem like a great idea to just get out there and provide an extra set of hands, unexpectedly showing up to areas of devastation causes additional burden for first responders and relief agencies. So how do you get out there be an asset? Reach out to an agency coordinating larger volunteer efforts to see where your time and thoughtfulness can be best put to use! You can register to volunteer through any of these organizations:
National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster is an association of organizations that work together to coordinate the delivery of services to communities affected by disaster. They maximize impact by focusing on communication and collaboration. Currently their team is working to assign volunteers to a range of areas impacted, including: Florida, Puerto Rice, and the US Virgin Islands.
Volunteer Florida is the state’s lead agency for volunteers and donations before, during, and after disasters. Volunteer Florida is currently mobilizing and deploying resources to assist those responding to and recovering from Hurricane Irma.
Red Cross is organizing volunteers in Puerto Rico, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia. They will be seeking helping hands for months to come, and welcome the time and talent for those that can help in any of these areas.
Habitat for Humanity will be working to organize volunteers to rebuild the homes that were devastated by both Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Harvey.
How to Give
If you can’t be there in person, the best way to support a cause is to donate money to the charities on the ground contributing to the recovery. All of the above agencies are accepting donations, but here are some others that haven’t been mentioned yet.
Feeding Florida is the leading hunger-relief organization in Florida and a part of the Feeding America network. Every dollar is currently being directed to statewide food banks to provide food and supplies to individuals impacted by the storm.
Save the Children responds to the unique needs of children and families with children in times of crisis. They deliver children friendly space kits so shelters can have safe areas to play and read away from the stress of the storm. They also have cribs, strollers, baby wash basins, and infant hygiene supplies for the families that were forced to evacuate without needed items for their children.
Oxfam is tackling the damage to sanitation and water infrastructure to the areas impacted, to provide safe drinking water. In addition to this hygiene work, they also work to provide food and shelter to those affected by the hurricane.
Many people rush to donate blankets, clothes, or toys in the wake of crisis – but many times agencies onsite already have these basics handled, and transporting, storing, and sorting donated goods divert their resources from more pressing work. That being said, here are some items that are in demand in the affected areas and links on how to donate.
Diapers are in low supply in the areas impacted by Irma. Miami Diaper Bank is collecting donations and diapers to distribute to the families currently in need.
Donating time, supplies, food, or fostering animals during the storm are some great ways to help animal rescue organization in the wake of the storm. South Florida Wildlife Center could currently use your help, as could the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals or the Best Friends Animal Society.
A huge thank you from our family to yours, your time and thoughtfulness are beyond appreciated. We look forward to seeing Florida and our neighbors rise from this stronger than ever.