Look for the Helpers

I think about this quote a lot. When things are scary I remind myself of the goodness in people to help strangers, to offer love and support to people who need it. This time of year there’ts a lot of fun to be had enjoying the fall but it’s also the beginning of hurricane season, which we know can be devastating for many communities. Here’s just a few ways you can help people and families affected by a hurricane.

Donate Locally

One of the best pieces of advice I ever got about donating is that donations made to local organizations have a quicker impact for the communities than national organizations. In areas like the Gulf Coast there is an established infrastructure for getting resources to the people who need them the most, and very quickly. Research shelters, hospitals and veterinarians (one side effect of local disasters is displacement of a lot of pets).

Offer Your Home

One of the scariest positions to be in is housing insecurity. Even if your home is fine, evacuating your neighborhood is a hurdle that can keep people from finding shelter or safety elsewhere. If you don’t have relatives or friends nearby and getting a hotel isn’t feasible, a bad situation gets worse even faster. If you are able one way to help people is by offering individuals or families a safe place to stay by opening your home to the displaced. To make it easier, you can post on Airbnb which actually has a disaster relief program that helps place people with available shelter for no fee.

Signal Boost

Do you know of a great organization that is doing on the ground work? What about a family that is struggling following a natural disaster? Social media is actually an amazing tool in terms of getting the message out to your friends and family. A lot of people want to help but aren’t quite sure where to start, give them a little push by showing your excitement about being a helper.

Diaper Banks

You may not know this but a lot of disaster relief agencies do not provide diapers, can you imagine trying to scramble for a diaper in such a situation! If you’re nearby you can drop off diapers and other baby needs at a local shelter, or you can find a local diaper bank online and sponsor a family in need. Ten or fifteen dollars is all you need to bring a little extra comfort to a struggling family.