Weather Channel offers helpful recommendations for helping Hurricane Ida victims

A shelter at Southern University  in Baton Rouge. (Photo by JC Canicosa/Louisiana Illuminator)

A residents of the Gulf Coast reel from the devastating impact of Hurricane Ida, the folks at the Weather Channel have posted a helpful list of tips for would be donors and places to which people can help make charitable contributions with confidence.

The basic message: money is the most useful thing to give. Here’s the main part of the post:

First, here are a couple of tips on how best to help disaster victims:

Cash is king. After seeing destroyed homes and people who have lost everything, we may be tempted to donate clothing, food, bottled water or other supplies. Aid organizations say donations like that often create logistical nightmares and more expense. A financial donation can be spent on what is needed most at that particular moment.

Know to whom you are giving. Charity scams abound after natural disasters. Give to trusted, mainstream organizations. If you are unsure about a group, check it out at the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance, the Charity Navigator, Charity Watch, or GuideStar.

Now, here are ways you can help the victims of Hurricane Ida.

American Red Cross

Help people affected by Hurricane Ida by visiting redcross.org or calling 800-RED-CROSS. Donations directed toward Hurricane Ida enable the Red Cross to respond to and help people recover from this disaster. This includes providing food, shelter, relief supplies, emotional support and other assistance. If you have the time, you can make a significant impact as a Red Cross volunteer. Review the most urgently needed volunteer positions at redcross.org/volunteertoday.

GoFundMe

GoFundMe connects you to people who need help. The Weather Channel and GoFundMe have teamed up to help people in the path of a natural disaster be prepared and recover quicker than ever before. If a hurricane has impacted you or someone you know, you can start a GoFundMe to get on the road to recovery. You can request help or donate to someone in need.

Catholic Charities

Catholic Charities of Acadiana is listing ways for people to help the victims of Hurricane Ida, whether it be by monetary donation or volunteer work. Check the links and information below for ways to help. Monetary donation: give.classy.org/disaster or text RELIEF to 797979. Checks can be mailed to: Catholic Charities of Acadiana, PO Box 3177, Lafayette, LA 70502. Disaster Amazon Wishlist: In-kind donations to assist in the disaster. To volunteer: bit.ly/HurricaneIdaHelp. To request help: Request help from Catholic Charities of Acadiana and Acadiana VOAD partners by texting DISASTER to 797979 or fill out the disaster recovery form.

United Way

United Way of Southeast Louisiana is accepting donations and looking for volunteers. It has set up a fund to support both short- and long-term relief efforts. You can find more information on its website.

Salvation Army

The Salvation Army also operates a command unit, refrigerated truck, a laundry unit, shower unit, bunkhouse, and two Field Kitchens. These kitchens can produce between 15,000-20,000 meals per day. Online: give.helpsalvationarmy.org/. By phone: 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769)

World Central Kitchen

Chef José Andrés, who leads an organization that provides food relief in areas hit by disaster, tweeted that a team in New Orleans would activate its three kitchen facilities in the city. He said they have supplies already on hand for more than 100,000 meals. Those who wish to help can donate to donate.wck.org/give/.

All Hands and Hearts

All Hands and Hearts deploys volunteers to disaster sites to help with cleaning, rebuilding homes and creating a long-term recovery plan. You can donate to its Ida fund or sign up to volunteer.

Americares

Americares has a fund to support its deliveries of medicine, personal protective equipment and medical supplies to disaster areas.

Save the Children

Save the Children is mobilizing its emergency response team to help children and families in the affected areas. The organization will be collaborating with local education partners in Louisiana and Mississippi to help restore child care and early learning centers impacted by Ida. It has set up an Ida Children’s Relief Fund.

Operation Blessing

Operation Blessing partners, staff, and disaster relief volunteers are the first on the ground, partnering with emergency management and local churches to bring food, clean water, medicine and other vital supplies to meet the immediate needs of those suffering. Donate online: ob.org/. To volunteer: ob.org/disaster-relief/volunteer/.

Pet Relief Agencies

Humane Society Disaster Relief: Donate online.

Louisiana SPCA: Donate online.

Mississippi ASPCA: Donate online.

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