June 1 marks the start of Atlantic Hurricane Season – and as we know, it only takes one storm to cause significant damage to communities in the United States and around the world.
When disaster hits, many generous people start looking for ways they can help.
If you are one of them, you should use the start of Hurricane season to pre-plan your generosity too! It can make a big difference for people trying to get back on their feet after disaster.
How can you make the greatest impact in the lives of others this hurricane season? The answer is surprisingly simple: give cash to relief organizations that work directly with people affected by disasters.
Disasters evolve quickly as people move to safety and start receiving emergency services and humanitarian aid. Cash donations allow relief organizations to respond to changing needs quickly, which enables them to deliver essential supplies that are fresh and familiar to the people they are helping. Donating clothes and household items might seem like the right thing to do, but these items rarely reach the people they’re intended to help. In fact, unsolicited donations can hinder relief efforts by diverting relief workers’ attention, clogging up already-limited work space and requiring equipment and time to manage. In stark contrast, even small financial donations can make a huge difference because of charitable organizations’ bulk purchasing power. For example, relief organizations can provide safe drinking water to more than 32,000 people for one day for the same cost of shipping one 6-pack of bottled water to a disaster site.
As we mark the start of Atlantic Hurricane Season, keep in mind these three ways you can help people in need:
- Decide ahead of time where your money will go. Choose a charity doing work you feel strongly about in hurricane-affected areas. You can make sure your donation is used effectively by consulting charity watchdogs such as Charity Navigator or Give Well.
- If you’ve already collected material goods, repurpose them! Your garage may be full, but fret not. Here are 55 ways to repurpose a material donation, or you can donate locally to people in need.
- Help spread the word about hurricane season, and cash donations. Many people aren’t aware of the positive impacts associated with giving cash to relief organizations after a disaster – or about the hazards of sending unsolicited material donations. Help us spread the word by directing people to www.cidi.org, following us on – Twitter and liking us on Facebook. You can also share the wonderful “Cash is Best” ads from our 2017 PSAid student contest! Visit psaid.org to see the winning entries.
If you’re still unsure about giving cash, check out our Greatest Good Donation Calculator to determine the cost of material donations like canned food, bottled water and clothes versus the good that the same amount of money can do in the hands of an experienced relief organization.
Save lives, save money – donate cash!