Holi Mubarak Ho! Happy Holi – the festival of colors and love! This ancient Hindu festival celebrates the arrival of spring, the victory of good over evil, and a time where people gather to laugh joyfully and forgive past wrongs. Everyone from young to old gathers to throw colored powder, gulal, at one another, and [...]
This past December, CIDI participate in the first annual celebration for young Somali professionals, hosted by YoungSom. The room was filled with energetic, knowledgeable and dedicated diaspora youth who understood CIDI’s messaging about effective donations in support of international disaster relief. Barlin Ali, CIDI’s Program Coordinator, joyfully greeted the group in her native Somali and [...]
What is love? For some it’s the greatest commitment of all. The force behind your most selfless and generous acts. Some may think it is a curse; a powerful force that takes over your ability to think rationally. Though some people can’t live with it and others can’t live without it, I think we can [...]
“Just because you didn’t receive a tax write off, recognition from a local organization, or a thank you card doesn’t mean your efforts were unnoticed.” So if you haven’t heard, #GivingTuesday is all the rage around the holidays! Recognized globally on December 2nd, this day is dedicated to bringing communities, families, organizations, causes and students [...]
“You wouldn’t want to receive something you didn’t ask for or need at Christmas, let alone during a humanitarian crisis.” It is Christmas eve and presents are lined beneath my family’s tree. Do you remember that present from a distant relative last year that you opened, cringed and never used? For me it was Barbie [...]
Smart Compassion has recently been an important issue at the “Ocean State” of Rhode Island. At the University of Rhode Island’s College of Business Administration, students of the introductory Operations and Supply Chain Management course – BUS 355, taught by Professor Koray Özpolat, have been offered an optional semester-long project called “Humanitarian Logistics Project” Building [...]
“What is altruism without effort?” As a researcher at USAID CIDI, I have spent a great deal of my time conducting research on humanitarian supply chain logistics. As a result, I now know that the effectiveness of the humanitarian supply chain is critical to the success of disaster relief efforts. We as donors can help [...]
“The reason I chose to give cash over in-kind donations is because cash is the one gift that can become many. Like a seed, when money is planted it blossoms into more than the eye could ever imagine.” For as long as I can recall, I’ve been a selfless person. Giving has always [...]
People like to say that this is the Age of Connectedness. Yes, we are more connected. But we’ve always been connected—now it is on a much more intimate and expansive level. Humanity has always sought connectedness. We’ve been exchanging ideas for thousands of years; initially through conquest and trade, now exchange occurs through expedient international [...]
“If everyone donates cash, the effect is cumulative and more tangible as such aggregate impact would improve the lives of not only the recipients but would also boost the local economy.” I donate cash because I know that cash can be used for many needs. As the recipients know their needs better than I do, [...]
Giving Tuesday is a great opportunity to be thankful for all that we have, and to help those who are less fortunate. Here at USAID CIDI, we also think it is a good opportunity to reflect on how we give – today and throughout the year – and what gifts make the most impact. Our [...]
Join us as we host a panel discussion on: Diaspora: who are they, why do they matter, and how are they impacting the economics of disaster relief in an increasingly globalized world? We want to take the mystery out of this very diverse, dynamic topic and engage with those who are active diaspora working in [...]
We’ve all heard of, or even volunteered for, popular non-profit organizations like United Way, Salvation Army, Goodwill, American National Red Cross, and YMCA to name a few. Non-profit organizations rally around a common principle, using profits to invest back in projects that address the organization’s interests. The ones we are most familiar with have a [...]
Going back to school always gave me mixed emotions. Not every year, but at every stage of my education, I felt like expectations of me were bumped up a notch or two. Like going to elementary school after being in daycare, I remember feeling that routine was everything and as long as I remembered how [...]
Feeling sad that summer is coming to an end? That’s normal! Instead, think about all the memories you and friends will make and share during this school year. Or what about all the new faces you’ll soon learn to love? It’s not all that bad. Actually, it’s pretty great! My name is Lauren Chatman, and [...]
In recent weeks, USAID has responded to the Ebola virus outbreak that continues to spread through Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone. As news about the outbreak and of heroic interventions by relief organizations continues to attract world attention, two questions rise to the top: how is the global community slowing the epidemic’s growth, and [...]
When we talk about international disasters, many of us think first of natural disasters like earthquakes, typhoons and wildfires. This makes perfect sense; in the last month alone, the world has experienced the devastating effects of disasters including the Yunnan Province earthquake in China, Super Typhoon Rasmassun in the Philippines and severe mudslides in Western [...]
After Thursday’s announcement from the World Health Organization that the number of Ebola cases have been vastly underestimated in West Africa, it’s clear that there’s still much to be done to stop the outbreak. The support pledged by USAID on behalf of the American people is vital. But individual citizens, businesses, and institutions also have [...]
The end of Ramadan means a celebrate for all those who do and do not celebrate. Our CIDI team is enjoying samosas made by our Outreach and Volunteer Coordinator, Barlin Ali. Samosas are savory pastries filled with meat, potatoes, or chicken that can be found in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. You can find [...]
Did you know that the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), comprising 189 National Societies, is the world’s largest humanitarian organization, providing assistance before, during and after disasters and health emergencies to meet the needs and improve the lives of vulnerable people? In order to help the American Red Cross and the [...]
We at USAID CIDI can’t decide if the summer heat is causing us to see mirages or if we are living in a dream. Beginning back in 2009, we admired and followed the Good Intentions are Not Enough blog. But like a mirage, the blog disappeared in 2012, much to our chagrin. The Good Intents [...]
In the aftermath of the hurricanes Ingrid and Manuel (September 2013) thousands of families in Mexico lost their houses, possessions and even their loved ones. According to Relief Web: “218 000 people were directly affected by storms Ingrid and Manuel, 139 people died, 53 are still missing, and 52 430 people are in shelters. A [...]
Every year since 2006, USAID CIDI has hosted the Public Service Announcements for International Disasters (PSAID). The annual PSAID contest gives students and young professionals a chance to showcase their design and video skills on a national level, while educating people on why cash donations work best for disaster relief. This year’s competition was especially [...]
On April 18, 1906, San Francisco and the surrounding Bay Area experienced a catastrophic natural disaster. The 1906 earthquake, estimated at a 7.8 magnitude, killed approximately 3,000 people and left up to 300,000 without homes. Buildings that survived being toppled by the earthquake were destroyed by fires fueled by the city’s gas mains. In [...]
I love watching Alyssa Thomas play basketball. Not only because the University of Maryland three-time ACC Player of the Year is an uber-athletic, ridiculously talented, beautiful monster stat machine, but because she is also a giver. Watch her sometime; her focus is always on her teammates, the ball, the basket, and scoring. She applies [...]
There’s a day for everything! So what makes World Water Day different from World Nutella Day (February 9th)? Besides calories per serving, that is. Since 1993, World Water Day has encouraged us to be more mindful, aware, and active in protecting this most precious resource. Initially a day that reminded us to conserve water [...]
Three years ago, the Japanese region of Tohoku was struck by a 9.0 magnitude earthquake, followed quickly by a 130 foot high tsunami. These horrifying events had tremendous short and long-term consequences. Most disastrous was the loss of life and the widespread, catastrophic damage to infrastructure. Damaged infrastructure at the Fukushima Daichi Nuclear Power Plant [...]
Growing up in the Soviet Union where we celebrate this day with parades, gifts, and flowers, I am often baffled why my adopted homeland in the US does not celebrate or even acknowledge this storied day. It’s ironic because the history of the struggle and triumph that this day represents in the US started [...]
My friends who observe Lent are already talking about what they’re going to give up for this annual 40- day season. They plan to surrender things like chocolate, coffee, shopping and other pleasures and substitute prayer or reflection. Whether or not one is Lent-observant, the notion of thoughtfully giving up something to achieve a [...]
Valentine’s Day is here! What’s your plan? Giving flowers or sweets to that special someone? Surprising friends? It’s not only about the gifts, though. Valentine’s Day is more than a commercial holiday. It is a day set aside to think beyond one’s self and give something that has a positive impact on those around [...]
We bet you’re all dressed up, gifts are wrapped, and cookies are baked. Uhh Ohh… Did you forget something? Perhaps a gift for a relative? For a White Elephant Party? For a colleague? USAID CIDI staff is here to help you overcome that sinking feeling with easy, thoughtful, last minute gifts! Delfin Who [...]
Love Urban Dictionary? Enhance your disaster response street cred with these need-to-know buzzwords: 1. Disaster Relief: Disaster survivors frequently need assistance to recover and rebuild. Supplies and programs provided by NGOS on the ground are essential to meet short-term needs like emergency medical care, and longer term ones like shelter. “Donate cash for disaster [...]
Yesterday, the White House pointed to USAID CIDI as the resource to learn how to effectively help people affected by Typhoon Haiyan. Today, Secretary of State John Kerry gave us props too, in high style. We’d love to be your partner too in delivering the best possible help for survivors of Typhoon Haiyan.
We love Twitter and we love clever handles so it naturally follows that we love Tom Murphy or @viewfromthecave. How do we love thee? Let us count the ways in snippets from your latest piece for Humanosphere: “Want to help the Philippines? Give unrestricted cash”. 1. “Another major disaster strikes and do-gooders rush to help [...]
Fridays are usually great, as it marks the coming of a relaxing weekend, but many people are superstitious about Friday the 13th. Don’t worry about today! Keep the good vibes going with some smart giving, so we can say Happy Friday again! Try our exclusive week end offer for those who want slim figure! [...]
We love Fridays ☺ and are particularly fond of Fridays at 5 p.m. So imagine our delight when we heard about Friday5, a crowd-funding nonprofit that converts those happy Friday vibes into donations for seriously good causes. Through Friday5’s subscription model, users automatically donate $5 every Friday to a charity that’s carefully vetted and selected by Friday5. [...]
Image credit to UNRIC / We Can End Poverty.
Labor Day is a time to relax and spend time with family and friends. But we hope some are giving and helping out in their communities too!
Care about the environment? Clean up a park! Something as simple and great as picking up litter in a local park not only allows everyone to enjoy the park more safely, but protects the environment.
Want to be humanitarian in a way that gives your community a brighter future? Tutor a disadvantaged youth. If there are young students that could use extra one on one time, helping them out can help them perform better and set them up for success down the line!
Volunteering in your local community! Whether it’s fundraising for a great cause or helping your town recover after a natural disaster, volunteering makes a difference. Don’t forget that going through an experienced, local nonprofit is the best way to go, as it will maximize your impact and minimize risks to yourself and the community [...]
Are you able to establish a connection with people? Then for you, spending time with a senior citizen is a great way to be humanitarian in your hood! You would not only make someone’s day, but possibly learn something new about yourself and a new friend.
The homeless often need help and compassion. For WHD 2013, you could volunteer for the homeless. Work at a local soup kitchen or have a conversation with a homeless person. A warm meal and some chit chat brightens everyone’s spirits.
Have a special skill that could benefit others? Lend your skill for a local charity! But first, contact charities and go through their systems. Many times volunteering without research or outreach to established organizations can do more harm than good. Then, as long as you have a good heart, you can be a humanitarian in [...]
Aside from donating cash to smart local charities, there are a bunch of ways to help out in your hood. Here is tip #1. Helping out people with their groceries is a simple way to spread the love. Just make sure to ask if they need your help before doing so!
As we approach World Humanitarian day, one thing comes to mind. Every year on August 19, we honor people who work in humanitarian projects around the world. These true humanitarians make many personal sacrifices in order to provide assistance to others. And their work is often risky – even life threatening. August 19 is [...]
What those saturday morning cartoon PSAs should look like!
Just our fun little take on how unsolicited donations would impact aid logistics for emergencies in space. When unsolicited material donations are sent to a disaster area without prior planning, staging areas and supply chains are disrupted.
Summer is a time in our country when natural disasters often strike. One special disaster that’s hit our country this summer is the Sharknado, a powerful storm that has pierced the American consciousness in a direct-to-TV SyFy movie released in mid-July. The film’s premise revolves around a freak tropical storm so powerful that it literally [...]
A true humanitarian film critic only posts the good stuff! Check out my favorite Video of the Week: While not explicitly stated, cash donations go so much further than in-kind donations of canned food and allow food banks to purchase exactly what is needed, including perishables (fruits, vegetables, dairy, etc.) that are an important part of [...]
Danielle Heiberg, Senior Program Coordinator, InterAction Americans are generous. According to Giving USA: The Annual Report on Philanthropy, they gave nearly $3 billion to their favorite charities and causes in 2011. InterAction, an alliance of nearly 200 non-governmental organizations (NGOs or charitable organizations), estimates that in 2009 its members received $9 billion in private donations [...]
After the tornadoes that struck Oklahoma last month, Americans from all over donated what they could – principally money and unsolicited material donations. Where money gives the community flexibility to purchase exactly what is needed for relief and reconstruction, unsolicited material donations can pose obstacles to both. It appears that the City of Moore, OK [...]
The Caribbean is one of the most hurricane-prone regions in the world, killing people every year and making communities more vulnerable with each and every storm that hits. But it wasn’t a hurricane that put Yen Carlos Reyes at risk. Reyes’s father dealt drugs in one of the poorest neighborhoods in the Dominican Republic and [...]
The 2013 Atlantic Hurricane Season officially begins on June 1 and is expected to be very active. Preparing your family and home for hurricanes is important. But what about preparing yourself to assist others–do you know how to effectively help those who are impacted by disasters? The best way to help is easier than you [...]
By A. Sezin Tokar, Ph.D., Senior Hydrometeorological Hazard Advisor, USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance Flash floods are the number one weather-related killer and the most fatal side effect of hurricanes. They kill thousands of people every year and cause millions of dollars in damage by destroying buildings and bridges, uprooting trees and overflowing [...]
There is a place in Miami, Florida, where deadly, hurricane force winds can be felt year-round without the threat of destruction. In fact, it’s a place that’s being used to help save lives. It’s called the Wall of Wind, a cutting-edge lab at Florida International University (FIU) that can simulate hurricane conditions using 12 giant [...]
As America saw with Hurricane Sandy, it takes just one bad storm to wreak havoc, kill and injure hundreds and inflict billions of dollars of damages. If one hurricane can do so much damage in the U.S., imagine the impact of similar storms on less developed countries. Forecasters are predicting an active 2013 Atlantic hurricane [...]
Top forecasters are anticipating a busy 2013 Atlantic hurricane season, with the National Hurricane Center on May 23 predicting that 13 to 20 named storms will develop this year, with 7 to 11 of the systems expected to become hurricanes. No matter how accurate the forecast turns out to be, Hurricane Sandy taught us that [...]
Hurricane Preparedness Week is May 26-June 1, following the release of the official forecast for the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season. This week will highlight USAID’s work helping disaster-prone countries in Latin America and the Caribbean prepare for and recover from hurricanes. The National Hurricane Center announced on May 23 that 2013 will be a very [...]
More resources for informed giving
Demonstrating Smart Compassion: What You Can Do
You can help to save lives and reduce human suffering after disasters by providing proven guidance within your community, schools, parishes, sororities and fraternities. Sound good? It is enormously good.
Help Where It's
Needed Most Toolkit
This toolkit was developed by the AdCouncil to help organizations effectively communcate the benefits of monetary doantions in support of disaster relief efforts.
How much do you think it costs to send bottled water to Kinshasa? Find out »