Helping disaster victims

November 11, 2011  //  

How you can help disaster victims

The most effective way to help disaster victims is to make a financial contribution to a charitable or faith-based group that provides disaster assistance to your community.    

Cash donations help affected localities and 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 organization’s national website. When donating at the national level, designate local chapters whenever possible.

Donating and volunteering

  • Donate money to help Virginians affected by disasters through the Virginia Disaster Relief Fund. The fund is designed to work through charitable organizations, which, in turn, help individuals. A website has been created to process credit card donations at http://www.disasterfund.virginia.gov/.  Those who wish to write a check can do so by making checks payable to the Treasurer of Virginia with “Virginia Disaster Relief Fund” noted in the memo line. Send checks to Comptroller’s Office, P.O. Box 1971, Richmond, VA 23218-1971.  Donations are tax deductible.
  • Volunteer your time to local charities and faith-based organizations. Volunteer wisely. An influx of unexpected or unneeded volunteers can make the process even more difficult. Before traveling to the disaster area, learn if and when your skills are needed. Virginia Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster is an organization of nonprofit and faith-based groups whose mission includes programs either in disaster preparedness, response and/or recovery. Find a list of active groups at www.vavoad.org.
  • In addition, Virginia Citizen Corps has five programs that cana train you to help emergency responders during response and recovery operations.  Learn more here.
  • Make a donation to local charities and faith-based organizations. Visit the National Donations Management Network at  http://www.aidmatrixnetwork.org/fema/states.aspx?ST=Virginiato learn about Virginia VOAD organizations and to make a donation. The NDMN also shows companies and organizations the goods that are needed in large volumes and how to make high quantity donations.
  • Donate goods through an experienced organization. Some relief agencies may have the structure 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.

Be ready. Be willing to help.

Virginia Disaster Relief Fund