Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Bonus Charities: Disaster Relief

As I've mentioned before, the goal of this blog is to find 52 new charities to support, but I did want to draw attention to some other organizations that do great work in the area of disaster relief, as long as we are on the topic:

  • American Red Cross: I spent many years as a local volunteer for the ARC and saw first hand how they help families in need.  One thing I really like about them is that they respond to all disasters.  Not just the big ones that make the nightly news reports, but they will show up in the middle of the night for anything, even as small as a single family fire.  
  • Philippine Red Cross: When Typhoon Yolanda devastated the islands of the Philippines, we wanted to send assistance to a group we knew would be working with local vendors and suppliers to provide disaster supplies.  Buying locally after a disaster is doubly beneficial to a community.  Firstly, it makes sure the assistance gets the the victims as quickly as possible and secondly, it helps to pump money into the local economy, which has been just as affected as the citizens,
  • Habitat for Humanity:  While the Red Cross is great at trying to provide immediate aide to disaster victims, a long term solution is also needed for people who have lost their homes and this is where Habitat for Humanity comes in.  They have been building homes for people in need, both domestically and internationally, for decades and they almost have it down to a science.
One final note on donating to big charities that do a lot of work in different areas, (this applies to any big organization, not just disaster relief).  In general, I've found it best not to specify a particular cause, but rather mark your donation "wherever it is needed most" and let the people who know the situation on the ground decide whether to send it here or there.  Often what happens is some disaster or cause will get a lot of press and attention and donations will pour in for those people in need, but other people, who have just as great a need (or even greater) but who don't get the press attention, are left out in the cold.  Literally.

One group that is working to find a solution to this issue (and a group that we have donated to in the past) Center for Disaster Philanthropy.  They work with donors and NGOs to try to develop strategies for disaster philanthropy that will provide aid where it can do the most good.

No comments:

Post a Comment