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Natural Disasters: How Families Can Help

All too often, the news is filled with upsetting reports of the devastating effects of tornadoes, hurricanes, typhoons, floods, tsunamis, and other forces of nature.

In their aftermath, many people want to know how to aid those who've been displaced or injured. Here are some ways that families can help.

Make a Donation

These charitable organizations provide assistance to people affected by crises and natural disasters; most accept donations.
[Please note: By clicking on these links, you will be leaving our site.]

It's OK if your family doesn't have a lot to give. Every donation, regardless of size, helps to rebuild when communities are hit by natural disasters.

Lend a Hand

While monetary donations are always appreciated, they're not the only way that families can get involved. Here are some active ways that you and your kids can help out:

  • Donate clothes, food, or other items. Check with your local ARC chapter, community center (like the YMCA), or place of worship to find out whether you can drop off donations or if there's another way your family can contribute. You might suggest donating your time to help sort through donations and/or delivering goods to families affected by the disaster.
  • Organize a fundraiser. Perhaps you could help your place of worship or local school organize a fundraiser to collect money or supplies for disaster victims. For a donation drive, ask the organization you'd like to donate to whether it needs the items you plan to send. Sometimes, charities get too many donations and have to spend money storing or handling the excess items.
  • Organize a community event. Talk to your place of worship, child's school, or community center about organizing a walk, run, bake sale, or other activity to raise money.

If your family isn't able to help out right now, consider contributing in the coming weeks or months. With the degree of damage in disaster-struck areas, the need for donations and funds will be ongoing and your family's contribution will be appreciated just as much in the future.

Why It Matters

Volunteering your time, money, or efforts not only helps the community, but also sets a good example for your kids. And helping others, especially collectively as a family, can be one of the most fun and rewarding experiences parents and children can share.

Get more tips on how to rally together as a family to really make a difference in the lives of others.

Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD
Date reviewed: May 2013