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Disaster Volunteering

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.
  • 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

Visit the Maryland Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) for a list of private and nonprofit agencies active in disaster relief, here.

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

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