Donate and Serve Wisely to Help Disaster Victims
The State of Maryland encourages everyone to contribute wisely towards disaster recovery efforts. Consider the following before you donate goods, money, or your time:
- Financial contributions are preferred.
- Cash donations help to avoid the labor and expense of sorting, packing, transporting, and distributing donated goods, and voluntary relief agencies use cash to meet victims’ specific needs more quickly.
- Donate through an experienced organization.
- Relief agencies prefer the versatility of cash donations; however some have the infrastructure in place to store and distribute donated goods. To prevent waste, donations of goods should be made only to agencies that have requested specific items.
- Donors should be wary of anyone who claims that “everything” is needed. Many groups have been disappointed that their efforts and the goods they collected were not appreciated. A community hit by disaster, however, does not have the time, manpower, or money to dispose of unneeded donations. Get precise information before collecting any donated goods.
- In a community struggling to respond to and recover from a disaster, an influx of unexpected or unneeded voluteers and donations can make the process even more difficult. Before traveling to the disaster area to help, learn where and when your skills will be needed. Discuss with volunteer organizers how your needs for food, water and shelter will be met while you are volunteering.
Private and Nonprofit Agencies Active in Disaster Relief
Adventist Community Services
American Red Cross
Catholic Charities USA
Christian Contractors Association
Christian Disaster Response
Church of Brethren Disaster Response
Church World Service
Baptist Convention of Maryland and Delaware
Feeding America (formerly named America’s Second Harvest)
The Humane Society of the United States – Disaster Services
Lutheran Disaster Response
Mennonite Disaster Services
National Organization for Victim Assistance
National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster
Nazarene Disaster Response
Operation Blessing International
Presbyterian Church (USA)
The Salvation Army