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Where To Donate For Disaster Relief

Brett Coomer/Houston Chronicle via AP, Pool

Volunteers unload a truck of relief supplies for people impacted by Hurricane Harvey on Sunday, Sept. 3, 2017, in Houston.

Brett Coomer/Houston Chronicle via AP, Pool

With hurricanes slamming the south and the Caribbean islands, wildfires burning in the west, and parts of Mexico reeling from the largest earthquake to strike there in last century, a lot of people outside these disaster areas are wondering how they can help.

There are many options if you want to contribute to disaster relief efforts -- and the recovery process will go on long past the news cycle.

Below are some ways to donate for current and future recovery efforts.

Note that these are not endorsements. It's worth doing your own research on any charity you're thinking of donating to. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) Wise Giving Alliance, Charity Navigator and Charity Watch all offer charity ratings and can give you some information about how your money is likely to be spent.


Choose a national organization

Catholic Relief Services is active in hurricane recovery efforts, and you can donate here to give money specifically to relief efforts on devastated Caribbean islands.

The Red Cross is on the ground for disaster relief across the U.S. and internationally, and allows donors some options to specify where their money goes (although they have faced some criticism for a lack of transparency around how donations are spent). Here's their donation page.

And here are a few more national organizations involved in disaster relief and recovery:


Find a local charity

Choosing a local charity is one way to make sure your money goes to the specific cause that's important to you.

BBB Wise Giving Alliance, Charity Navigator and Charity Watch offer event-specific lists of charities you can donate to, some of which are local.

And here's a great list of organizations participating in Harvey recovery efforts.

If you want to give to a lesser known charity, make sure you do some research to verify they're for real. Unfortunately, scams are common.


Give blood

Blood banks were already experiencing a summer shortage before hurricane season even began. If you'd like to donate blood, Bloodsource is a regional organization with clinics in northern California. Find a clinic here.

- Capital Public Radio Staff

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