ARLINGTON, VA (PRWEB) November 07, 2012
Only now we are beginning to understand how Hurricane Sandy has devastated so many communities across the Northeastern United States. As the awareness of relief and recovery needs increases each day, it is evident that support from the American public will continue to be necessary for affected communities to find a path to recovery.
“In the coming days, weeks, and months a coordinated effort by the American public, hurricane survivors, faith-based and community-based relief organization, private sector businesses and local, state and federal governments will be necessary to restore life in the region,” Daniel Stoecker, Executive Director of National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (National VOAD) said. “The best way you can help is to make a responsible donation to an organization active in disaster’s response and recovery activities or volunteer your time.”
Here are some of the ways individuals can support the ongoing response and recovery efforts, whether they live in one of the affected areas or across the country:
(1) Financial Contributions are Most Effective: This allows relief organizations to purchase exactly which items are needed to assist in the response and recovery efforts. It also helps the local economy recover. This also allows funds to be used for direct victim assistance.
(2) Confirm the Need Before Collecting or Sending Goods: Please only send donated goods to a reputable place that has made a request for donated goods, and only send what they are asking for. That way, you know your gift will reach someone in need. Otherwise, you may overwhelm relief organizations that do not have a way to distribute or warehouse donated goods. Keep in mind that a community hit by disaster often does not have the necessary resources to sort and disburse unsolicited donations. Piles of unsolicited goods also take up valuable space to house volunteers.
Many donors have been disappointed that their efforts, as well as the goods they collected were not appreciated. Seek out precise information and confirm the need before collecting any donated goods or used clothing. Donors should be wary of anyone who claims that “everything is needed.”
(3) Volunteer Wisely to Help Others: In a community struggling to recover from a disaster, an influx of unexpected or unneeded volunteers and donations can make the process even more difficult. The best way to volunteer, if you are not affiliated with an organization, is to visit AllForGood.org and Serve.gov for opportunities.
Please visit the National VOAD website http://www.nvoad.org/sandy to find additional tips on donating and information on volunteer opportunities.
National VOAD, or National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster, is a national coordinating body for fifty-three (53) of the nations most respected community-based and faith-based disaster response organizations and 55 state and territorial affiliates, with hundreds of additional localized member organizations. National VOAD members focus on all stages of disaster: preparedness, relief, response, recovery, and mitigation. Working collaboratively with the private and governmental sectors, the members of National VOAD are the driving force behind disaster recovery in the United States