Our view: Please donate to help out the victims of Hurricane Florence. But we continue to recommend cash contributions rather than goods. FEMA agrees.
Why we believe that: FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) issued a release Monday that urged caution in how we give.
The release noted the generosity of the national response to victims of the hurricane. The agency also offered a word of caution.
“… a deluge of donated items can quickly exceed the needs of the affected communities, requiring supporting agencies to redirect manpower away from providing direct services needed by survivors to managing donated goods that may not meet survivors’ needs,” the release stated.
“ Therefore, the State of North Carolina is asking you not to donate unsolicited goods at this time. This will support improved coordination with experienced disaster relief organizations and state/local emergency management offices so those in need quickly receive the right help.”
In short, give cash.
The release also urged caution in choosing where to donate. A list, vetted by the North Carolina Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster group, offers a guide to reputable relief organizations providing aid to hurricane survivors. Find the list at www.ncvoad.org/cms/NCVOADmembership .
Making the list are nearly 30 organizations, including Food Bank of Central & Eastern NC, American Red Cross, The Salvation Army, Samaritan’s Purse, and a slew of church-backed organizations.
In conclusion: The urge to give in times of crisis is one of our greatest attributes. When we see people hurting, we take action. We commend that urge and that result.
But do it the smart way, the way that will bring the most benefit to the most people. Give money.