BATON ROUGE, La. – The overwhelming generosity of private donations and volunteers is helping Louisiana communities recover after Hurricane Ida. These efforts can augment the capabilities of local, state and tribal authorities and survivors throughout the recovery process, which may last many months, even years.
Volunteers should work with a response or relief agency to make sure their efforts will help those most in need. If you are not already connected with an organization, you can visit Volunteer Louisiana online at volunteerlouisiana.gov to find volunteer opportunities in the affected communities. Volunteer Louisiana helps promote volunteerism and assists with coordinating spontaneous, solo volunteers in times of disasters.
Donations need to be targeted. An unexpected onrush of donated items may exceed a community’s needs or force a relief organization’s limited workforce to manage the donated goods instead of the needs of survivors. Targeting your donations will improve coordination with disaster relief organizations and local and state emergency managers so those in need receive the right help.
That’s why the most effective way to help disaster survivors is to make tax-deductible cash donations to trusted voluntary, faith and community-based charitable organizations. This gives them the ability to purchase the most needed resources or services to provide the survivors.
The easiest way to help is to donate cash. Cash contributions to voluntary organizations make good sense for several reasons:Cash donations place experienced disaster response and relief organizations on the ground and provide the steady flow of resources and services needed to help survivors recover. When organizations or survivors buy goods or services locally, they pump money back into the local economy to help businesses recover faster. It supports disaster responders on the ground, keeping the focus on response and recovery instead of collecting, sorting and transporting donated goods that communities did not ask for.
To ensure your cash contribution is used responsibly, only donate to reputable organizations. To find a list of trusted organizations, you can visit Volunteer Louisiana online at volunteerlouisiana.gov/donate and National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD) at www.nvoad.org.