Details for DAILY JOURNAL / RETAIL - Ad from 2019-11-08
GivingBACK What to give in the wake of natural disasters N o region of the world is immune to natural disasters. According to the World Health Organization, natural disasters, which include earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, heat waves, and droughts, affect close to 160 million people worldwide. Donations to relief organizations tend to spike considerably in the wake of natural disasters. While relief organizations can certainly use such help, the organization Planet Aid, which works to bring about worldwide environmental and social progress, notes that donations during natural disasters can prove overwhelming for emergency responders and potentially even hamper their efforts to help those in need. So what are well-intentioned men and women to do when compelled to help those affected by natural disasters? First and foremost, prospective donors should heed the calls of disaster relief organizations. For example, The Salvation Army notes that, after some disasters, they will appeal to people and businesses for donations of specific goods that can then be distributed to disaster survivors. These appeals might be based on reports from first responders who are on the ground in areas affected by natural disasters. First responders can see what people are most in need of and then report those needs to relief organizations. Donors who answer these appeals can do a lot of good and provide immediate relief to people whose lives have been turned upside down. Collection efforts in the wake of natural disasters also should be based on needs expressed by relief organizations. Shipping costs can be especially high, and many relief organizations may not have the resources to arrange for items to be transported to regions in need of relief. The Salvation Army notes that it is extremely rare that clothing, furniture and motor vehicles are needed during a disaster response. While such items can still prove invaluable to charitable organizations, donors who want to help people affected by natural disasters should know that these gifts are rarely the most effective way to lend a hand. When compelled to give in the wake of a natural disaster, cash donations may be the most helpful gifts donors can send. Cash won’t incur shipping costs or customs fees, and relief workers can use cash to purchase exactly what is needed in areas affected by disasters. Natural disasters can strike at any time. Learning what to give in the wake of natural disasters can help donors do the most good for those in need.