Even days after Hurricane Florence battered the North and South Carolina coast, the worst of the flooding still remains. Power lines are down, people are without clean water, homes have been destroyed and many are still displaced. If you're like most, seeing the footage come out of the Carolina's is merely devastating. Here are 10 creative ways to help victims of Hurricane Florence across the east coast.
1. Donate to the American Red Cross.
The American Red Cross is known to be one of the most reliable disaster relief agencies. Less than 24 hours after Florence made landfall, The Red Cross agreed to match all donations, up to one million dollars. What better way to make your donation count than to double your power?
2. Donate to a diaper bank.
The Diaper Bank of North Carolina is in dire need of donations of sanitary supplies and diapers. Many families with young children have been forced from their home and therefore are lacking basic supplies for their already vulnerable young children. Making a donation even this small can take a large amount of stress of a young family.
3. Drop off supplies at an N.C. or S.C. police station.
Countless police and fire stations across North and South Carolina are collecting supplies for hurricane victims. South Carolina Law Enforcement tweeted a list of drop-off locations. You can access that here. The post also indicates that they are in need of bottled water, non-perishable food items, cleaning supplies and personal hygiene items.
4. Donate blood.
Increased injury alongside countless blood drives has caused a major blood shortage across the Carolina's. Click here to be redirected to the Blood Drive appointment page hosted by the American Red Cross.
5. Sign up to donate your time.
The state of North Carolina has created a form for those that want to volunteer their time to clean up and relief efforts. The form allows you to choose where you will be volunteering and places you where you will be able to make the most difference. You can access this form here.
6. Donate clothing and supplies to the salvation army.
Since landfall of Hurricane Florence, the Salvation Army has provided 128,107 meals, 109,132 drinks, 52,237 snacks, 89 assigned Mobile Feeding Units (Canteens) and 61 in service, emotional and spiritual care to 9,279 individuals, 396 comfort kits, and 36,822 hours of employee and volunteer service (as of Friday, Sept. 21). Donations to support these efforts can be made here.
7. Donate to "One SC Fund."
"One SC fund" is an organization that will donate funding to various non-profits that are making the most difference and have the most need. This program is funded by the state and created by governor Nikki Haley in 2015. Donating to this organization guarantees that your funding goes to local communities. Make a donation to "One SC Fund" here.
8. Support a local animal shelter by fostering animals
In the case of damaging storms, oftentimes animals are left without any way out. Shelters all over North and South Carolina are overcrowded and working nonstop to limit storm-related euthanizations. These shelters are looking for families to foster and adopt but also are in need of volunteers and donations. While many shelters are in need of assistance, you can access the Coastal Animal Rescue Website here.
9. Become a health and mental health volunteer.
For graduate students or those with degrees in the medical field, volunteering to assist with health and mental health related needs is extremely important. The American Red Cross is asking for those that qualify to help as quickly as possible. Information on this program and criteria for eligibility can be found here.
10. Volunteer for Samaritan's Purse and Rebuild Homes.
While Samaritan's Purse is also looking for donations, they have split their volunteer resources by town. Use this link to sign up to rebuild homes and assist those affected.
One border, two hearts, three shared professional sports teams. The most famous of artists have been singing about the Carolina's for years, world-renowned movies have personified the Carolinas as one of the most beautiful places in the world, some of our nation's most famous were born within Carolina's borders.
Hurricane Florence was the first major storm to hit the Carolina's in years and it's going to be a quite a while before North and South Carolina are back to normal. If you were fortunate enough to walk away from this storm unscathed, make an effort to make a difference. This is our home.