Here's What You Can Do to Help Hurricane Irma Victims

Here's What You Can Do to Help Hurricane Irma Victims

Several organizations are working hard to help

After tearing through the Caribbean and leaving the island of Barbuda in ruin, Hurricane Irma set its sights on Florida. More than 6.3 million Floridians had been ordered to evacuate before the storm. As Irma loses steam and dies out, thousands of people are now dealing with the reality of having to start over.

Here's how you can help individuals and communities in need.

Put Your Dollars to Work

Numerous organizations are already on the ground assisting families and local communities impacted by the hurricane. But these organizations need all the help they can get.

Donations can go a long way in helping these groups get the funds and supplies they need to aid in recovery. There are several organizations that are working hard to help:

  • Feeding Florida is working with local food backs to feed those who are in need.
  • UNICEF USA is on the ground, helping with water treatment and hygiene in the Caribbean.
  • Americares is partnering with healthcare facilities in Florida to provide medical assistance.
  • GoFundMe has set up a dedicated page for Irma victims.
  • The Salvation Army has established emergency shelters.
  • GlobalGiving is raising money to provide food, medicine and water to Irma survivors.
  • The South Florida Wildlife Center and Best Friends Animal Society are helping the non-human victims of the hurricane.

Volunteer Your Time

Several organizations are looking for volunteers to help with the rescue and recovery process in Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Groups looking for volunteers include:

  • The Red Cross. Volunteers must have a valid driver's license, be able to be deployed for 14 days, pass a background check and complete an online intake process.
  • National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasteris looking for volunteers for Florida, U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.
  • Volunteer Florida is looking for volunteers who can work in emergency shelters and disaster relief organizations.
  • Habitat for Humanity has set up a Hurricane Recovery Volunteer Registry, and is looking for volunteers to aid in the rebuilding process. The organization is also accepting donations to aid in the disaster response.
  • Airbnb is also looking for property owners to donate their accommodations for displaced families.

While some groups are not accepting volunteers at this moment in time, they will be needing help in the coming months and years. Relief efforts will be ongoing for the foreseeable future, so help will be needed in the aftermath of the hurricane.

Donate Supplies

Many charities and organizations are accepting donations of supplies, including food, water, medical supplies and other much-needed items.

  • The Diaper Bank of Central Florida is looking for donations of pull ups and diapers of all sizes and brands.
  • Local food banks are accepting food donations.

Officials are warning to be careful of where you donate and to do your research to make sure that you give to a reputable organization. Financial donations are often preferred because it allows organizations to cater to the needs of individual families. Supplies, they say, often go to waste because organizations are given more than what they need.

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21 Spontaneous Things To Do While Evading Death

The bucket list to end all other bucket lists.

Everyone should take the opportunity to do these 21 things before they die. If you aren’t considering everything on this list, does YOLO not mean anything to you?

1. Go on an exciting vacation that puts you out of your comfort zone.

No, not another Napa Valley wine tour.

2. Keep a dog.

Or a cat. But just know dogs are better. They’ll teach you so many of life’s abundant lessons. Like not to have nice furniture.

3. Experience nature to its fullest extent.

Hint: this likely can’t be done in an area where you have cell service. Unplug, people.

4. Stargaze at night in an area where you can actually see stars and not smog.

Stars do exist, and they're pretty to look at.

5. Volunteer your time to a charitable cause.

Don’t just write a check to a nonprofit; get out in the world and help!

6. Name a star

C’mon, it’s cool.

7. Learn an instrument.

How fun will it be to show off to all your friends that you can play Hot Cross Buns?

8. Splurge on something.

Save money and then blow it on something that will probably be out of style or out of date within a year. Spending money really makes you feel alive, especially when your checking account balance plummets.

9. Spend a whole day in bed.

Some people claim sleep is for the weak. They must not have good mattresses.

10. Do something out of the blue.

If you have a desire to do something, do it. Your gut is always right, right? Life can't always go according to plan, and it's important to be spontaneous.

11. Be given a standing ovation.

“Everyone in the world should get a standing ovation at least once in their life because we all overcome the world” – Auggie Pullman, Wonder

12. Fall in love.

As cliché as this may seem, everyone deserves to be loved. Even the Grinch.

13. Jump off a cliff.

Make sure there’s water at the bottom of where your jumping, though. No premature deaths, please.

14. Pay for someone else’s meal.

Unless they ordered more than $40 worth of food, because you probably aren’t made out of money.

15. Vote.

You can’t complain about the current state of government unless you had some input in it.

16. Do something on a stage in front of people.

Everyone needs to have the opportunity to get over their fear of public speaking. Do that thing where you're supposed to imagine the audience in their underwear. It'll be more awkward and more fun.

17. Go to a big deal sporting event.

Pay big bucks for those nosebleed seats. You may barely be able to see what's happening, but at least you can say you were there.

18. Learn how to cook something where the name is not the recipe.

Branch out from things like macaroni and cheese and buttered toast.

19. Try a weird diet.

See if it has all those health benefits that it claims to have. Avoiding swamp diet, anyone?

20. Do something your parents explicitly told you NOT to do.

Find out why they said that. Live and learn people.

21. Delete your social media and replace it with actual human interaction.

Pick up the phone, use that expensive phone plan and call someone instead of stalking them on Facebook.

Cover Image Credit: Maddy Mazurik

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We Do The Things We Do For A Reason, To Help Us Find Our Passion

How I knew writing was my love.

Why do we do the things we do? A question I get asked a lot is “why did you start your blog?”

I wish it was as simple as “I love to write!” But it isn’t. I was always a terrible reader, all through elementary school I had the worst handwriting and grammar in the class. It wasn’t until seventh grade that I began to truly like to write. I started writing in a little black journal that read “I can I Will” on the front every night. At first, it was just simple stuff like what I had done that day but eventually, it developed into more.

I would have so much going on in my head, I would just need to write it on paper! Ideas, opinions I was too afraid to say out loud, and even short “movies”. Writing actually helped me develop my true voice. Once I realized that I was one of the only kids in class who actually enjoyed writing papers, I knew it was my calling. It was something I wanted to put my heart and soul into.

My freshman year, everyone had their “thing” whether it be basketball or soccer or dance. My thing was going to the cozy coffee shop in Royal Oak and just writing for hours.

I would just pour my heart out onto a piece of paper and love it! I felt a release and always felt a sense of power when I finished a meaningful article.

The summer I got home from my last year of sleep away camp, I wanted to somehow share my writing with the world. I am terrible at technology so I never thought I would be able to create a blog, but I did! I thought it would only be appropriate to call it "I can I Will" because it was not only what my first journal said but had deep meaning to me for various reasons (a different story for another time). For me, it was not about how many likes or shares my page received, but to see and hear if I had made an impact on others. I wanted to inspire people or in some way make them just think. Think about life and themselves. Think about the good stuff.

As of today, every time I post an article, I feel loved. I get goosebumps from every comment on my post or when people I barely even know come up to me and tell me they read my blog.

So, why do we do the things we do? Is it to make us happy? No. We do the things we do to better the world for ourselves and for the people around us. I am a strong believer in everything happens for a reason. This being said, go after your dreams, do what you want, make yourself happy while also putting smiles on other people’s faces. We do the things we do for a reason, even if we don't know it!

Cover Image Credit: flickr

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