Our hearts are with the millions affected by the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.
Last night Rachel Maddow reported that this is the “single largest effort to restore electric power in all of U.S. history.” Reportedly, 15 million people are without power.
We are thinking of everyone in such difficulty right now, and especially our friends and family who call these areas home.
How to Help: Financial Donations
The first, and Journey to Good recommended option, is to give directly to a charity of your choice. Several charitable organizations are collecting donations for the hurricane relief efforts, such as:
Google's Network for Good (Google is matching every dollar)
CERF+ (Donate through Etsy as they will match up to $100,000)
Why monetary donations?
Food, water and gas are the top necessities needed for this crisis right now. For that reason, and others, we encourage people to err on the side of financial donations over other types of donations, such as household and material item donations.
In the past, sorting through and organizing material donations has diverted much-needed volunteers and resources away. You can learn more about historical instances of actual failures from inability to use material items on this website by the Center for International Disaster Information.
Be sure to conduct the appropriate amount of research before giving to any charity, in order to avoid scams and to avoid giving to an organization which which you don’t personally agree.
How to Help: Volunteerism & Housing
There are other ways to help beyond the donation of money.
Volunteer Your Time with Volunteer Florida
This state-run organization explains the various ways individuals can volunteer their time.
List Your Housing for $0 on Airbnb
As part of Airbnb’s Disaster Relief Program, you can list your home for use by those displaced or by relief workers.
How to Help: For Wildlife and Animal Lovers
People are not the only living beings affected by the storms in Florida. These nonprofits are working to help animals affected by these damaging storms.
How to Help: Talk about Climate Change
As the world continues to warm slowly, we see an increase in flooding, storms, hurricanes and devastation on shorelines.
I feel sentimental. My mind goes to some of the amazing times I've had and places I’ve been lucky enough visit including St. Maarten, St. Thomas, the Florida Keys, the U.S. Virgin and British Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and many other Florida cities.
If you’re feeling emotions as well, sentimental or otherwise, consider starting some conversations with people you know about global warming and climate change.
Recent studies have shown that a lot of Americans don't talk openly about climate change or they don't think it will happen to them.
If you are in an educational phase of your journey, here are some resources to explore:
- TED Talks on Climate Change
- Talking to Children About Climate Change
- How to Talk About Hurricanes with Climate Change Deniers
A Lesson from Harvey & Irma, a Real-Life Couple in their 80s
This article from the New York Times spoke to us at Journey to Good.
A married couple from Spokane, Washington, ages 104 and 92, bear the names Harvey & Irma. It’s Irma’s wise words that we’ll leave you with. When asked about the hurricanes, Irma said:
"You just do whatever you think would be best to do,” she added. “If you can help someone, then help them.”
How can you help? Are there ways to help that we've missed? Let us know.