It’s no secret that the people in Southeast Missouri are generous and want to do all they can to support their community. Earlier this year, we came together to help our neighbors in Perryville affected by an early spring tornado. More than $70,000 was raised by our organization alone to help aid the families impacted. Months later, the community is still rallied together to ensure that those affected have the support they need as students go back to school, holidays approach and building projects begin. This generosity is the reason it came as no surprise to hear local businesses wanted to do their part to help those affected by Hurricane Harvey.
Thousands of individuals living in the Gulf Coast have been forced to leave their flooded homes. They’ve lost everything they own due to days of continued rain. Across the country we’ve seen communities spring into action to help fellow Americans in Texas and Louisiana. Recently, we’ve had a few Southeast Missouri groups contact us about what items they can collect and where donations can be sent.
Unfortunately, collecting and sending food, clothing and other household items can do more harm than good. Volunteers are working around the clock to ensure families are evacuated from flood waters and have access to shelter and food. It takes a lot of time and money to store, sort, clean and distribute donated items, which diverts limited time and resources away from helping those most affected. The best way to support disaster victims is with a financial donation.
United Way of Southeast Missouri, a local affiliate of United Way Worldwide, understands your desire to help and wants to do our part to support you. United Way Worldwide has launched a national United Way Harvey Relief Fund. According to United Way Worldwide (UWW):
- The fund was established in response to individual and corporate donors who are looking for one, simplified place to impact the entire affected area.
- 100% of all money raised will be distributed to the affected United Ways for community needs. No individual donations will go toward administration and overhead at UWW.
- UWW is working directly with affected United Ways in Texas and Louisiana to distribute the funds in an equitable manner.
If you are interested in volunteering, The American Red Cross is currently recruiting and deploying volunteers. According to a release sent by the organization, The American Red Cross of Eastern Missouri has around 50 volunteers who are in Texas or on their way. At this time, they are focused on deploying registered and trained volunteers. The best way to get involved is to register and start your training so that you’re ready if/when the call comes.
The Red Cross is holding a training this Saturday in their Cape Girardeau office located at 2430 Myra Drive. The training will run from 10:30 am – 11:30 am. Those interested in volunteering may also visit www.redcross.org/volunteer-interest-form.
Hurricane Irma Update – 9/11/2017
From United Way Worldwide: “The U.S. Virgin Islands suffered catastrophic damage, mainly in St. Thomas and St. John. United Way of the U.S. Virgin Islands has set up a disaster fund and is currently accepting donations. The Turks & Caicos Islands also suffered massive damage. We will be assisting them on disaster recovery plans. Both Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic suffered building damage, flooding and power outages in certain parts of the islands. Fondo Unidos de Puerto Rico is supporting the Red Cross on recovery efforts, including providing their 2-1-1 service.
We also wanted to let you know that, similar to Harvey, United Way Worldwide is launching the United Way Irma Recovery Fund. Here are a few quick facts about the Fund:
- This is a response to individual and corporate donors who are looking for one, simplified place to give and impact the entire affected area.
- 100% of individual donations given to the United Way Irma Recovery Fund will be used for recovery efforts in the affected areas.
- The money will be distributed to local United Ways in the affected areas of the Southeast United States, the US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and trusted partners in other affected areas of the Caribbean.
- We are working with affected United Ways on distributing funds in an equitable manner.
To give to the Recovery efforts or find more information, please visit unitedway.org/recovery. You can link to the donation form here. In order to keep it as simple as possible for donors, there is one give page, and they can select to support (1) Harvey, (2) Irma, or (3) the hurricane-affected region where it’s most needed. From there, you can find links to specific information about the United Way Harvey Recovery Fund and the United Way Irma Recovery Fund, with more details on each storm and the individual local United Way funds.”