Helping Our Friends in Louisiana
Do you want to help the victims of the severe flooding in Louisiana but don’t know how? We have a few tips to help anyone who wants to donate to the victims of this severe flooding.
Affiliate with existing non-profit organizations before going to the disaster area. Immediately following a disaster, a community can become easily overwhelmed by the amount of generous people who want to help. Connecting and affiliating with an established organization will help to ensure that you are appropriately trained to respond in the most effective way.
In a community struggling to respond to and recover from a disaster, an influx of unexpected or unneeded volunteers and donations can make the process even more difficult. The best way to volunteer if you are not affiliated with an organization is http://www.volunteerlouisiana.gov/volunteering/blog/. Discuss with volunteer organizers how your needs for food, water and shelter will be met while you are volunteering.
Be safe. Do not self-deploy. Wait until a need has been identified and the local community impacted has requested support. Wait until it is safe to travel to volunteer sites and opportunities have been identified. Once assigned a position, make sure you have been given an assignment and are wearing proper safety gear for the task.
Be patient. Recovery lasts a lot longer than the media attention. There will be volunteer needs for many months, often years, after the disaster - especially when the community enters the long-term recovery period.
Financial Contributions are Preferred. This allows relief organizations to purchase exactly what items are needed to assist in the response and recovery efforts. Funds will also provide direct victim assistance. Consider taking the items that you would like to donate and sell them in a yard sale and send them to South Carolina.
Confirm the Need Before Collecting. Donors should be wary of anyone who claims that “everything is needed.” Many groups have been disappointed that their efforts and the goods they collected were not appreciated. A community hit by disaster, however, does not have the time, manpower or money to sort and dispose of unneeded donations. Get precise information and confirm the need before collecting any donated goods or clothing.