Here are some tips for helping the victims of the tornadoes that struck the Midwest over the weekend.
Cash is the King.We may feel compelled to donate clothing, food and other supplies after seeing the destruction of homes or people who have lost everything. Aid organizations warn that donations like this can create logistical problems and increase costs. A financial donation can be used to fund the most urgent needs at that moment.
Know who you are giving toAfter natural disasters, charities are often swindled. Trusted mainstream organizations are best. If you are unsure of a group, visit the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance or Charity Navigator, Charity Watch or GuideStar.
Give blood. Kentucky Gov. says that hospitals treating storm victims require more blood. Andy Beshear spoke Saturday. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, blood supplies have been at an all-time low. To find a blood donation center in your area go to the Red Cross Blood Center website at redcrossblood.org/donate-blood/how-to-donate/eligibility-requirements.html and type in your zip code.
As search and rescue efforts continue in impacted states, here’s how you can help:
Team Western Kentucky Tornado Relief Fund
Gov. Andy Beshear established the Team Western Kentucky Tornado Relief Fund in an effort to assist those who have been affected by the severe weather system and tornadoes. Click here to donate:
American Red Cross
Red Cross.org and 800-RED-CROSS are two ways to help people affected by the tornadoes. Red Cross can help victims of tornadoes by donating money. This includes providing food, shelter and relief supplies as well as emotional support. Volunteers with the Red Cross can have a significant impact if they have the time. Review the most urgently needed volunteer positions at redcross.org/volunteertoday.
The Salvation Army provides food, shelter, and emotional support to rescue workers and survivors. Online: give.helpsalvationarmy.org/. By phone: 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769)
Go Fund Me
GoFundMe helps you connect to people in need. GoFundMe has teamed up with the Weather Channel to help those affected by natural disasters be more prepared and recover faster than ever before. To help you and your family recover from a hurricane, you can create a GoFundMe account. You can request help for someone in need or donate to them.
CARE, an international aid organization based out of Atlanta, has provided shelter, water, and cash assistance for families affected by the tornadoes. This organization has established a donation fund to provide these services.
Feeding America in Kentucky’s Heartland will provide ready-to eat emergency meals to victims. Donors looking to provide the nonprofit with money for the operation can log onto https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/feedingamericaky. Feeding America posted a social media message saying that “this massive devastation could not have come at a better time as most people are still recovering from the pandemic”
The Kentucky branch of United Way set up a donation account for victims. According to the nonprofit, the money will be used to “support immediate needs as well as long-term recovery in impacted communities.” Anyone interested in donating can log on to uwky.org/tornado.