With all of the difficulties in Louisiana, people from around the country and even around the world are seeking to assist those in need who are dealing with impacts from the floods.
If one is not physically able to assist with efforts in the state itself, there are still ways that those who wish to can provide help through funding and donation of supplies.
Before donating to any charity, one should always tread with caution. Unless it is a known and vetted charity, there are cases unfortunately in times of crises where scammers step forward as a charitable entity, and gather monies to line their own pockets, from unsuspecting good hearts. It is best to stick with a non-profit that is known and provides direct assistance to victims in the area. Some examples of these agencies include the organizations and individual efforts below.
The American Red Cross
The American Red Cross is an organization that mobilizes in times of disaster and helps to coordinate shelter, supplies, food and more to residents of areas. Trained Red Cross volunteers are dispatched as well from chapters throughout the state where the catastrophe has taken place, or may be transported in from other states. Click here to access the American Red Cross website’s direct donation area for Louisiana Flood efforts. Donations can be pre-selected or a person can choose “other amount” and type in an amount they are able to give, beginning at a minimum of $10.
To donate directly to Red Cross Chapters in Louisiana, click:
Click below to see the video from the American Red Cross and how the organization says it is assisting.
The Red Cross can also help replace missing items like medications and eyeglasses if they are lost during a weather-related tragedy. Cleaning supplies are also items that the organization can provide, like paper towels, mops and other tools to clean up water and mold.
The Red Cross, overall, fills in the gaps especially for residents who are not considered to be in “flood zones” but who need some type of assistance because of extensive damage or loss to their homes, and potentially not having flood insurance because of their location (it is not required in some places) or because of the expense of the insurance itself.
A donor can also give to a local chapter, which also may help in this situation.
However, if a person wishes to donate supplies they should check first, due to the red tape of this organization that has come to light over the last few years. Some have come with supplies and food, but were turned away reportedly because of the regulations. Click here to read more on this topic. While even Governor John Bel Edwards is reevaluating the partnership with the Red Cross, the Red Cross is blaming some of the hiccups with services and donations on partner organizations it works with, as well as its hands being tied due to state regulations, including food preparations.
The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army is another longtime organization that can help with providing services and items to those in need, including shelter, food, recovery plans and more. Click here to access the donation page. Like The American Red Cross, The Salvation Army offers pre-set donations, or a donor can set their own amount to give.
The Salvation Army accepts donations as well by mail, directly to a P.O. Box to a Louisiana mailing address. Checks can be mailed to:
The Salvation Army
P.O. Box 470
Mansura, LA 71350
Checks mailed should be earmarked “August 2016 Gulf Coast Floods” to give support for this effort.
Phone donations are also accepted at: (800) SAL-ARMY. A donation link can also be accessed by text by texting STORM to 51555.
The Salvation Army has been on site in parking lots of shopping malls in the Baton Rouge area, collecting and distributing supplies. The Salvation Army has said it is not accepting used clothing. However, cleaning supplies like wheelbarrows, mops, shovels and brooms are accepted. Pillows and new bedding are also welcome donations. Baby diapers and wipes are other requested items. Toiletries such as toothpaste, shampoo, toothbrushes and deodorant are also asked for.
At the Cortana Mall in the Baton Rouge area, the Salvation Army is also handing out cleanup kits as well as bottled drinking water through a drive-up method. There is also an application system where residents can request supplies.
Like the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army also has emergency shelters, and is teamed up with churches in the parish to additionally help provide meals to those in need.
Convoy of Hope
Convoy of Hope, like The Salvation Army, is a faith-based organization where one can give donations. Click here for the website. This organization has been in existence since 1994 and helps with emergency supplies, water, food, shelter and more. In Louisiana, this Missouri-based charity has come to the assistance of Louisiana residents through its Disaster Services with supplies, including truckloads of food and working with local partners for distribution, including partner churches in Louisiana.
Click here for the organization’s website.
Click below to view a video from Convoy of Hope about its efforts.
This California not-for-profit has also reached out its hands in Louisiana, especially with medical supplies. Click here for its website. This organization is working with medical centers in the state, as well as the CVS Health Foundation, which responded in kind with a $100,000 donation to the organization to provide relief (this donation was earmarked as well for the Salvation Army’s Southern Territory and the American Red Cross). Direct Relief is working with major pharmaceutical companies for medical supply donations, as well as FedEx to expedite supplies to organizations.
Click below to donate and choose “Louisiana Emergency Flooding” to earmark the financial gift to assist in Louisiana.
Legitimate GoFundMe Fundraising Efforts
Use this site at risk, and completely investigate any effort before donating. One that has received traction and has proved its validity in assisting is one Louisiana teacher named Rubia Garcia, a resident who has so far raised close to $35,000 of her $40,000 goal. This longtime resident, as she explained in her story, survived Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and is using the funds for transportation (she has rented trucks and is driving them herself along with other volunteers) and is purchasing as needed items including: toiletries, diapers, Tylenol, hand sanitizers, energy bars, socks, razors, hairbrushes and combs, as well as other items. Photos of her team shopping for these items, as well as distributing them are there. Click to view and donate. Garcia also has a Facebook Page and following with over 375,000 Facebook Fans.
This spunky teacher and those assisting her have been making waves in providing direct effort to those in need and are also showing some of the larger charities that are responding to donors with their red tape, how to get it done, and how even the efforts of a few can make a difference for many. Click the video below for their commentary on the topic. #LouisianaStrong.
A simple search on GoFundMe with the search string “Louisiana” has also brought up individual requests for assistance, as well as help for four-legged friends in Louisiana. Another notable effort is the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine, to help displaced pets. The fund drive also has photos of pets who have been injured, including a dog with a fracture to his scapula and femoral head, which the GoFundMe monies will help cover costs. Rescues by boat of animals is another way the group is helping. Click here for this fund drive.
Tangi Humane Society is a no-kill shelter in Louisiana that is making strides to help during this time of need, and funds will also assist the shelter in rebuilding its shelter. The Petco Foundation is matching donations up to $50,000 to reconstruct the humane society’s shelter.
Click here to assist the Tangi Humane Society’s fund drive.
This website helps to educate those seeking information about charities and ratings of these charities. It also provides a search engine within the site with information about charities and information about the fake charities. Click here for the website.
Some basic tips from Charity Navigator about donating?
- Give to charities with track records.
- Make sure a donation is earmarked for direct support if that is the desire, so the contribution is spent towards the effort, such as for flood victims.
- Do not donate supplies unless requested for by vetted charities, and then give at sites that are written about on those charities’ websites.
- Steer clear of telemarketers.
- Don’t give through email solicitations either, which may come from organizations or individuals, unless one personally knows the individual. Additionally do not open attachments from unknown sources, which may have malware.
- Look for a charity’s official website. Those that are not legitimate, may clone the websites of valid charities, or not have a website at all.
- Do not be swayed by social media, such as videos, unless its from vetted, original sources. Some fraudsters use social media to garner donations that tear at people’s heartstrings.
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