In times of great disaster, many people are driven to help others affected by catastrophic events in any way possible. One of the most common ways to provide support and assistance, especially when distance acts as a barrier, is through the donation of money and supplies to relief funds. The American Red Cross is an organization historically heralded as being a credible and reliable relief charity and is currently being spotlighted once more amidst news of back-to-back hurricanes and tropical storms. However, the Red Cross has come under fire over the past years for reportedly failing to make sufficient use of their donations and providing the bare minimum of support to areas affected by disaster. This has prompted many people to search for other more reputable, and ideally local, charities and organizations.
Below are some charities specific to the recent hurricanes that have devastated and continue to devastate various nearby areas:
While its main focus is on promoting innovation by connecting Puerto Ricans abroad to those on the island, this local nonprofit has also started a fund to help victims of Hurricanes Maria and Irma. (http://www.conprmetidos.org/)
Dominica Hurricane Relief Fund
The government of Dominica is collecting donations through JustGiving, a crowdfunding website. The money will go toward temporary roofing, blankets and non-perishable foods.
Unidos por Puerto Rico
This initiative, from Beatriz Rosselló, the first lady of Puerto Rico, enlists private sector help in providing aid to those affected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria. Donations are accepted through a variety of means, including PayPal. (http://unidosporpuertorico.com/en/)
All Hands Volunteers
All Hands works with local volunteers and groups to respond to natural disasters. With Hurricanes Harvey and Maria, it is focusing its efforts on the U.S. Virgin Islands. (https://www.hands.org/)
St. Bernard Project
After disasters, the SPB organization rebuilds homes, advocates for recovery strategies, and advises policy makers, homeowners, and business owners about resilience. (http://sbpusa.org/)