The most effective way to help disaster victims is to make a financial contribution to a local charity or faith-based response group of your choice.
Cash donations help organizations avoid the labor and expense of sorting, packing, transporting and distributing donated goods, and recognized voluntary relief agencies can use cash to meet victims’ specific needs more quickly.
Remember to donate first through recognized local faith-based response groups and charity organizations. Donations can be made at the local level or through an organizations’ national Web site. When donating at the national level, designate whenever possible those local chapters working on the April Tornado Response and Recovery efforts.
List of responding organizations provided by Virginia Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD):
- American Red Cross – Suffolk, Southeast, Petersburg and Greater Richmond Chapters
- Salvation Army
- Virginia Beach SPCA
- Federation of Virginia Food Banks
- Catholic Charities of Eastern Virginia
- Lutheran Disaster Response & Lutheran Family Services of Virginia
- Southern Baptist Conservatives of Virginia
- Virginia Baptist Mission Board
- Presbyterian Disaster Assistance
- Virginia United Methodist Church Conference Disaster Response
- Adventist Community Services
- United Way of Central Virginia
- United Way of the Virginia Peninsula
- United Way of South Hampton Roads
- Mennonite Disaster Service
For a complete listing of state and national voluntary organizations active in disasters please visit http://www.nvoad.org.
As residents begin rebuilding in the Commonwealth of Virginia following the April tornadoes, we encourage everyone to contribute wisely towards recovery efforts. Keep the following in mind when you consider donating 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 can use cash to meet victims’ specific needs more quickly.
- Donate through an experienced organization.
Relief agencies prefer the versatility of cash donations. However, some may 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.
- Confirm the need before collecting.
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.
- Volunteer wisely to help others.
In a community struggling to respond to and recover from a disaster, an influx of unexpected or unneeded volunteers and donations can make the process even more difficult. Before traveling to the disaster area to help, learn if, 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.
As mentioned above, an influx of unexpected volunteers can cause complications during the recovery process. Please speak with a volunteer organization before you go to the scene to volunteer. Additionally, we encourage you to affiliate with a voluntary organization with a response mission, such as those listed on the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster Web site.
United Way of South Hampton Roads is coordinating volunteer efforts in Suffolk. If you or a group of volunteers would like to participate in ongoing efforts, visit http://www.unitedwayshr.org.
Be ready. Be willing to help.
Virginia Disaster Relief Fund
How is the money distributed?
Fund proceeds will be distributed to local long-term recovery groups, members of the Virginia Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster and other non-profit and faith-based organizations as a grant.
Many of these groups work directly with individuals and families following a disaster.
How else can I donate?
The Virginia Disaster Relief Fund benefits projects that include: repair or rebuilding of underinsured dwellings, transportation assistance, replacing essential household items, helping renters establish new rental residence, temporary living expenses while recovering from loss, and more.
How can I donate?
If you want to help, send checks made payable to the Treasurer of Virginia with “Virginia Disaster Relief Fund” noted in the memo line to:
P.O. Box 1971
Richmond, VA 23218-1971