During times of disaster we all want to help our neighbors in need, and Hurricanes Harvey and Irma are no exception. United Way of North Carolina has compiled the following information about ways to help our neighbors who’ve been affected by Hurricane Harvey and the flooding in Texas and Hurricane Irma. We will be updating the page as more information becomes available, so please check back often.
The BEST way to help after a disaster like this is to make a financial donation to a trusted, reputable charitable organization. Financial donations are efficient, easy to use, flexible, and can be put to immediate use. They allow relief organizations to respond quickly to the most pressing needs, as well as to evolving needs as the disaster response progresses. Financial donations allow supplies to be purchased closer to the disaster, avoiding delays, transportation, and storage costs that often happen with material donations. Financial donations don’t require volunteers to spend valuable time sorting items that may not be able to be used.
Please do not donate goods such as used clothing, miscellaneous household items, medicine, or food unless a there has been a specific request for the item(s). When these 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.
Donations to a United Way in an affected community
United Ways are closely connected to their community, and, along with their partners are a critical part of a community’s short and long-term recovery from disasters. Local United Ways can respond quickly to meet immediate needs as they arise, providing resources to first responders and other disaster response organizations to help with rescue and immediate relief efforts. Local United Ways also often coordinate a community’s response to a disaster, ensuring long-term recovery and rebuilding needs are met quickly and efficiently. Learn more about how local Texas United Ways are responding to the disaster.
United Ways of Texas provides links to United Ways throughout Texas that are currently raising funds to aid Hurricane Harvey disaster recovery in their community.
United Way of Florida has established a Hurricane Irma Relief Fund to support local Florida communities affected by Hurricane Irma. You can also find links to donate directly to a relief fund established by local United Ways in affected communities. View United Way of Florida's Disaster Relief Fund and links to local Florida United Way disaster relief funds.
Donations to United Way Worldwide's Hurricane Disaster Relief Funds
United Way Worldwide has launched the United Way Harvey and Irma Recovery Funds to support all local communities affected by both storms. 100% of individual donations given to the Funds will be used for recovery efforts in the affected areas. You can select to support (1) Harvey, (2) Irma, or (3) the hurricane-affected region where it’s most needed. The national fund is not meant to replace local relief and recovery funds, but will complement local efforts.
Donations to Organizations Providing Relief in Affected Communities
Donations may be made to Texas and Florida Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) members who are providing relief efforts and assisting with long-term recovery and rebuilding efforts. Contact the organizations directly to learn more about their Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma relief efforts.
National VOAD is asking people who would like to volunteer to not self-deploy, as unexpectedly showing up to any of the communities that have been impacted by the hurricanes can create an additional burden for first responders.There will be volunteer needs for many months and years after the disaster.
Individuals, groups, and organizations interested in volunteer opportunities can register with state and territory VOAD member organizations directly or fill out a volunteer form with the National VOAD. United Way of Miami-Dade serves as the official volunteer management agency for Miami-Dade County's Emergency Management. They also have a volunteer application on their website.
We ask for your patience after you register to volunteer - you will be contacted you once public officials and disaster relief organizations have had an opportunity to assess the damage and identify what the specific unmet needs are.
If you feel the need to do something immediately, consider a financial donation to a relief organization or host a local yard sale or other fundraiser and donate the proceeds to a relief organization.