Provided by Prince William County Police
You may receive appeals to donate money for disaster relief after Hurricane Florence. Be sure to do your due diligence before responding to such requests. The Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) offers these tips on how to donate or volunteer right, and what not to do.
TO DONATE TO RELIEF EFFORTS
The most effective way to support communities impacted by these storms is to donate money and time to trusted, reputable non-profit charitable organizations.
Cash donations offer non-profit agencies flexibility to address urgent needs. These organizations can obtain needed resources nearer to the disaster location, not only getting needed supplies to those rebuilding after the storm, but also providing economic aid that helps local businesses from which these emergency supplies are purchased to recover faster.
Do not donate unsolicited goods such as used clothing, household items, medicine, or perishable foodstuffs. When used personal items are donated, the helping agencies must redirect their staff away from providing direct services to survivors in order to sort, package, transport, warehouse and distribute items that may not meet the needs of disaster survivors.
Donate through a trusted organization. At the national level, many voluntary-, faith- and community-based organizations are active in disasters and are trusted conduits through which you can donate to disaster survivors.
CASH IS THE FASTEST WAY TO ASSIST DISASTER SURVIVORS
Cash offers voluntary agencies the most flexibility in obtaining the most-needed resources. Many charities specialize in providing relief in disaster areas, yet they face significant financial barriers to getting their staff, equipment, and supplies into impacted areas.
Your donation helps put experienced disaster responders on the ground, and gives them the tools they need to help survivors recover. Organizations typically prefer cash donations because they allow organizations to:
- Purchase food, water, medicine, and equipment from secure and familiar supply chains
- Buy materials locally – which can help rebuild the local economy
- Conserve resources – money is always necessary and cheap to send, but the cost to ship material supplies can be expensive.
- Remember, material supplies such as used clothing, miscellaneous household items, and mixed or perishable food require helping agencies to redirect volunteer labor away from providing direct one-on-one assistance to sort, package, transport, warehouse, and distribute items that may not meet the needs of disaster survivors.
DONATE THROUGH A TRUSTED ORGANIZATION
At the national level, many voluntary, faith- and community-based organizations are active in disasters, and are trusted ways to donate to disaster survivors. If you’d like to donate to assist those affected by disaster, these organizations are the best place to start.
Do not give your personal or financial information to anyone who solicits contributions. Providing such information may compromise your identity and make you vulnerable to identity theft. As always, report any suspicious activity to the police.