Hurricane Irma, even though it was downgraded to a tropical storm, is still causing flooding in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and other southeastern states. But before Hurricane Irma hit Florida, the storm tore up Caribbean islands and caused a wake of destruction in many communities. Florida, the southeast, and the Caribbean islands need help with emergency relief and upcoming efforts to rebuild homes and infrastructure.

Before you go full force with relief efforts, keep in mind the U.S. Center for International Disaster Information advises not to “self-deploy” for volunteer work, and states that donations of money are better than donations of goods such as food and blankets. We have compilied a list of charities doing great work to aid in emergency and recovery efforts in affected areas. All charities listed below have four out of four star ratings from Charity Navigator, an independent charity watchdog.

Here are five charities worth donating money to:

  1. Global Giving funds first responders’ relief work in areas affected by Irma. After initial relief efforts, Global Giving then funds local organizations’ long-term recovery projects.

  2. MedShare is collecting and donating vital medical supplies and basic care items to help victims of both Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Harvey.

  3. Helping Hand for Relief and Development focuses on both short-term emergency supplies and long-term recovery efforts, such as sponsoring orphans and building programs designed to empower survivors of disasters.

  4. Americares provides emergency medical response and also remains in disaster-stricken areas to help rebuild hospitals and clinics.

  5. Direct Relief has already delivered medical supplies to Florida and Haiti. They will be continuing to donate medical supplies to these areas and Puerto Rico.


Photo via Flickr Creative Commons/EUMETSAT.



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Kat Kothen-Hill is a BUST intern living in Brooklyn, NY.

Follow her on Twitter:@katkothenhill and on Instagram:kitkatkothenhill.