Playing along the beach, going to local arcades and museums, and just having a good time. That’s what I remember about family vacations to Panama City/Panama City Beach. Perhaps that made it even tougher to see the images from last week’s hurricane that pummeled the Florida Panhandle. It was heartbreaking to hear a Panama City official say on TV that homes and businesses were more than 80% destroyed or severely damaged. And keep in mind, other locales are just as bad or even harder hit!
Hundreds of thousands are affected and could use any helping hand Hoosiers can and want to give. Fast Company put together the comprehensive list below of where you can donate. Large, well-known organizations are included, as well as more local ones that are focused on specific tasks like providing health care, feeding people and caring for displaced animals.
Here’s how to help, and be sure to give to vetted organizations by checking sites like Charity Navigator:
- American Red Cross: You can make donations for victims of Hurricane Michael by visiting the Red Cross web site or just texting the word MICHAEL to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
- Americares: Americares is working with partners in the area and deploying an emergency team to provide immediate support for health care. Donations are accepted online.
- DonorsChoose.org: This charity has created a recovery fund to directly support teachers in classrooms damaged by Michael. Contributions will help teachers support their students and restock classrooms with materials like books, furniture, classroom supplies and technology.
- Facebook: Facebook is matching $1 million in donations made to Save the Children, which is responding to the needs of children and families in affected areas. All donations made on the crisis page or through the Donate Button on the top of News Feed are eligible.
- Feeding the Gulf Coast: They are working in collaboration with Feeding America, Feeding Florida Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) and other disaster responders to distribute food in areas affected by Hurricane Michael. You can make a monetary donation here.
- Florida Disaster Fund: The state of Florida’s official private fund supports communities as they respond to and recover from emergencies. Donate here to share funds that will help in disaster-related response and recovery.
- Florida Urgent Rescue: This Jacksonville, Florida, animal rescue group took in dogs from shelters in Hurricane Michael’s path. To make a donation online, click here.
- Global Giving: The web site has established a Hurricane Michael Relief Fund to support local emergency medical workers, providing food, fuel, clean water, hygiene products and shelter to the affected communities.
- GoFundMe: GoFundMe has put together a list of verified campaigns here. They have also set up a general relief fund to directly help those affected by Hurricane Michael.
- Habitat for Humanity: The organization that partners with future homeowners to build affordable housing said on its web site that it is accepting donations that will be used to respond to families affected by Hurricane Michael “until Habitat for Humanity’s role in meeting the need is met.” Donations can be made online here.
- Humane Society Naples: This no-kill Florida shelter has been sending out rescue teams to towns affected by the hurricane to save any animals in need. You can donate here to support their efforts.
- International Medical Corps: This groups says it has sent teams of doctors and nurses to Florida at the request of the state’s Department of Health. Help them in their mission by donating here.