MADAMENOIRE recently reported that hurricane Ida has left thousands without power. CBS news reports that the hurricane caused a massive oil spill. USA Today reports that the hurricane has taken several lives. And Nola.com reports that hurricane season will remain active until November 30, so calm isn’t in sight for a while. Hurricanes like these have become so common that Nola.com also reports that 2020 saw 30 named storms – 10 of which reached the coast.
While naming the storms gives the country a focal point by which to discuss the crisis, however, names might also have a way of diminishing the severity of that weather. People who were going about their lives – making social plans, going to work, worrying about credit card debt, walking their dogs, planning for retirement – just weeks ago have now been completely displaced, their homes and belongings were damaged or gone forever, and left wondering how they’ll build it all back up again. It’s an important time for those unaffected to join together and help those impacted by hurricane Ida in a way we can only hope others would be there for us in the same situation. Below are ways to donate help when you are unable to do so directly.
Donate to Save The Children
Save The Children is a Better Business Bureau accredited charity that focuses on what victims of disaster need to upkeep the care of their children. They have set up a relief fund specifically for families impacted by hurricane Ida and are organizing the transportation of essential childcare items such as wipes and diapers to those unable to access such supplies now. Save The Children will also be teaming up with local educational programs in Louisiana and Mississippi to help rebuild education centers and childcare centers. Save The Children has been operating since World War I, being there for the most vulnerable group when disaster strikes – children.
Mercy Chefs was founded by Chef Gary LeBlanc, who was himself a victim of hurricane Katrina. He works to provide warm, chef-quality meals to people who experience natural disaster. The company has deployed their team to assist the victims of hurricane Ida. It relies on their central location in Metairie, Louisiana, to get groceries and supplies and send out their mobile kitchens to provide meals where they’re most needed. As of now, the non-profit is serving up meals at their church location in Metairie, as well as delivering meals to LaPlace, Kenner, New Orleans, and Houma. The organization has plans to expand their reach as they work effortlessly to collect donations and resources to respond to hurricane Ida’s effects.
Shop this Amazon wish list
The Catholic Charities of Acadiana is a faith-based organization that provides services for veterans, immigrants and people in need of disaster relief. It can be overwhelming to determine what people impacted hurricane Ida need or figure out the logistics of getting those items to them. The CCA has created an Amazon wish list of items they’ve deemed necessary. Shop the wish list here and have the items shipped to the CCA. They will organize the safe delivery of the items. It is an extensive list of items needed to rebuild and renovate destroyed homes. You can also choose to donate a Lowes gift card.
The United Way of South Louisiana
The United Way of South Louisiana is working with local organizations in and around the disaster areas to determine exactly what victims need in real time and catering to those needs. They work to rebuild schools and businesses following natural disasters, as well as get families back into their homes and look after the most vulnerable members of the community. They have also compiled an active Google map of all of their resources available to victims of hurricane Ida, including shelters, food and water, medical attention, emotional support, tarps and supplies, and transportation. Donating to this local branch of The United Way is one of the most efficient ways to make sure your money makes it to the victims of Ida.
Donate Hilton rewards points
This method of donating is a bit non-traditional but if you are short on cash or supplies to donate, you may have something valuable still: your Hilton Honors points. The Hilton Honors program is currently allowing members to donate their points to the charity of their choice, according to The Points Guy. The Hilton Honors program will additionally donate $25 for every 10,000 points donated, and is prepared to match up to $250,000 in donations through October 1, 2021. If you have racked up those points through travel, instead of spending them on your next vacation, you can send them to those in need right now.
Donate credit card points
Here’s another way you can donate without cash or supplies: donate your credit card points. Look in your credit card’s online portal to see if your company is doing any donation matching through the points program. Many are. You can also call your credit card company and ask if they are running such a program (you might just encourage them to start one). If you’ve been a big credit card user, you may have racked up hundreds of dollars in points. And while your hope may have been to use them on a hotel, victims of hurricane Ida could use them now for just any safe roof over their heads.
Start a GoFundMe
As an individual, determining what a natural disaster victim will need in the coming weeks or months is nearly impossible. And getting those items to them might be difficult if not impossible. In many cases, the best thing you can do is provide money via PayPal, Venmo, CashApp and similar systems. If you know of an individual, family, or neighborhood in great need after hurricane Ida, you can start a GoFundMe, raise awareness of the situation and raise money for critical supplies. The most useful thing to some people is to have money available for when needs come up since they cannot predict what those needs are now.
Second Harvest Food Bank
This food bank of South Louisiana, has prepared thousands of meal kits containing things like non-perishable nutrition bars and rehydration kits. They are also delivering cooking supplies so that recipients can heat up prepared meals. They’re accepting donations of bottled water and cleaning supplies, as well. The organization has been providing assistance to underserved communities for years through community kitchens, nutritional education, and more. Every year they save millions of pounds of food that would have otherwise been thrown out and get it to those who need it. When natural disaster strikes, they gather their resources to bring food and water where it’s needed most. You can donate here to help in their efforts.