When Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria ripped through the Caribbean, Puerto Rico and the Florida Keys, they left a trail of shattered buildings, boats and dreams. Millions of people have lost their homes, their jobs, or both, and farmers have lost their crops.
Choose one of these charities to support with a donation to help the victims of Irma and Maria with life-saving food, water, clothing and medical services, and start the rebuilding, including roads and power lines.
Each one of these charities has a four-star rating for financial performance and effectiveness from Charity Navigator, my go-to charity rating service, and each one lets you donate online in any amount you choose.
Every organization uses donations differently, so read their mission statement or visit their website to understand how your gifts to them will be used.
These charities also are assisting with relief for the victims of Hurricane Harvey, and the earthquake in Mexico.
Feeding America is a United States-based nonprofit organization that is a nationwide network of more than 200 food banks that feed more than 46 million people through food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, and other community-based agencies.
Americares Hurricane Relief Fund is accepting online donations dedicated to hurricane victims. Americares is a non-profit disaster relief and global health organization providing immediate response to emergency medical needs and supporting long-term health care initiatives for people in the USA and around the world. Every $1 donated provides $20 in relief.
Save the Children is helping vulnerable children stay safe and providing relief to families who need it most.
Direct Relief provides life-saving emergency medical assistance.
Sierra Club is working with community-based groups to repair environmental damage, including to the 23 SuperFund sites in Puerto Rico.
World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization helping children, families, and their communities overcome poverty and injustice.
American Red Cross is accepting donations online and via text (text “IRMA” to 90999 to donate $10) while also looking for volunteers. Donations will be used to send supplies, open shelters and recruit volunteers.
Habitat for Humanity Hurricane Recovery Volunteer Registry is rebuilding homes that were destroyed. Donate, or volunteer.
The Salvation Army is accepting donations via phone (call 1-800-SAL-ARMY), text (text “STORM” to 51555) and online.
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Additional donation and volunteer suggestions:
Donate directly to Puerto Rico recovery at Hispanic Federation: www.hispanicfederation.org/unidos, select “Hurricane Relief Effort” from the drop-down menu.
Celebrity chef Jose Andres is on the ground in Puerto Rico, cooking 10,000 meals a day. He founded World Central Kitchen in 2010 0 after the earthquake in Haiti, and has provided assistance in Nicaragua, Zambia, and recently in Houston after Hurricane Harvey. World Central Kitchen is soliciting donations on its website for its relief effort. Hurricane Maria has wiped out 80 percent of Puerto Rico’s agriculture.
- In New York City, which has the largest Puerto Rican population outside the island itself, FDNY firehouses and even the Javists Convention Center are accepting donations.
Global Giving is sending food, medicine and water to those affected by the disaster both in the Caribbean and the U.S.
Bloomberg helped launch usvirecovery.org, the official relief website for the USVI Governor and the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands (CFVI), a local foundation. 100% percent of donations will go directly to providing immediate relief and supporting long-term community renewal efforts in the USVI.
PayPal Giving Fund is a licensed charity and will provide the donation receipt for your gift to one of the charities on its approved list. PayPal covers all transaction costs for donations made on this site, ensuring that 100% of each gift made is available to charity. We verify that charities receiving grants from PayPal Giving Fund have tax-exempt status with the IRS and are not on recognized economic sanctions lists. Unfortunately, it takes PayPal up to 45 days to transfer the money, which doesn’t help anybody today.
Apple is urging users to donate directly through iTunes and the App Store.
Virgin Unite is the charitable fund of Sir Richard Branson‘s Virgin Group, supporting the devastation in the British Virgin Islands. Branson’s private Neckar Island resort was demolished by Irma. He rode out the storm in the hotel’s wine cellar. Virgin Unite’s overheads are covered by Richard Branson and the Virgin Group, meaning that 100% of all donations received will go directly to helping support local BVI communities.
Airbnb’s disaster program is searching for hosts with available housing in the greater Atlanta area, Florida Panhandle, northern Georgia and northwest and southeast South Carolina, for both displaced residents and relief workers deployed to help them.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the Best Friends Animal Society and the South Florida Wildlife Center are all accepting donations to care for pets abandoned or injured during the evacuation and storm.
The American University in Antigua has pledged to match all donations made through the Go Fund Me page that they set up to rebuild the island of Barbuda, which was destroyed by the hurricane.
The Caribbean Eagles, a group of motorcyclists in St. Marteen whose clubhouse was destroyed, set up a Go Fund Me page to gather donations to rebuild their space.
Let’s also thank corporations and charitable foundations for their contributions:
Carnival Corporation , the Miami HEAT Charitable Fund, and the Micky and Madeleine Arison Family Foundation are pledging up to $10 million in funding and in-kind support for relief and rebuilding efforts in Florida and throughout the Caribbean.
JetBlue has been flying cargo-filled planes into Puerto Rico, and evacuating residents on the return trip.
photo of devastation in St. Thomas courtesy NBC News.
This was posted originally on Sept 14 and has been updated as the situation in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean changes.