While Texas recovered from Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma pummeled Southwest Florida and the Caribbean Islands leaving devastation in its wake. Both Harvey and Irma made landfall in the United States as category 4 storms, which makes this the first recorded time that two category 4 hurricanes have hit the States in a single season. Irma’s 185-mph winds and pounding rain was felt all by all in its path, even our South Florida car dealers. Now, local businesses, charities, and organizations are quickly raising funds and taking in displaced families, with donations and volunteering being the two most sought-after ways you can help those affected.
Where to Donate
There are many agencies taking up the burden of hurricane relief. Each organization is dependent upon donation givers and volunteers, and those suffering from the devastation caused by Hurricane Irma are depending even more on these charities. American Red Cross, Salvation Army, United Way of Miami-Dade, South Florida Wildlife Center, and Volunteer Florida are looking for individuals to get involved in their relief efforts.
- The American Red Cross is the most prominent agency in this list. The ARC is training volunteers to serve as disaster shelter volunteers and managers. It is a registered non-profit organization that is on the front line of disaster relief every year, and their volunteers are amongst the first to respond after a disaster. The American Red Cross has many new donors thanks to both Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, but they can always use more hands on deck and money to spend. Fill out their donation form online, or contact them via phone or email for more details.
- The iconic red shield of the Salvation Army has activated every available disaster relief asset in response to Harvey and Irma. The Salvation Army provides hurricane victims with food, shelter, and emotional care. The aid provided by their volunteers is not limited to mainland North America; Salvation Army is organizing relief for Caribbean communities devastated by Irma, as well. Help in any way you can by visiting their website.
- United Way of Miami-Dade is a local charity focusing on support for victims in and around Miami, Florida. This organization aimed to rebuild countless lives after Hurricane Andrew swept through, and is once again rehabilitating the communities affected by Irma. If you’d like to keep your donations local, start here.
- As you know, South Florida is teaming with amazing wildlife. The South Florida Wildlife Center provides rescue and rehabilitation for endangered and displaced wildlife in the area. As a non-profit partner of The Humane Society of the United States, it is dependent upon charitable donations to ensure lost pets find their way home and wild animals have sanctuary during the rebuild period.
- Volunteer Florida is the foremost donation network in the state of Florida. It provides valuable resources for victims of natural disasters, and they’re sending qualified volunteers to shelters and other relief agencies as you read this. Donations to Volunteer Florida go directly into Florida’s official fund for communities affected by Hurricane Irma.
Before volunteering precious time and writing a donation check, it’s important to evaluate each charitable organization’s background and integrity. Like the charities above, a reputable agency is forthcoming and honest about where donation money goes. While most charities are legitimate, there are still many scams prowling about. Be on the lookout for these red flags:
- Refuses to give detailed information about its stated mission and where donations go.
- Uses a name remarkably similar to another well-known charity.
- Promises sweepstakes winnings for your donation.
Every donation and hour volunteered means so much to the communities devastated by Hurricane Irma. With upward of $150 billion in damages estimated, the area may need help for months to come. Join our South Florida Honda Dealers in aiding our Sunshine State neighbors to get back to normal after this catastrophic hurricane season. Find your nearby Miami Honda dealership to ask how you can personally help or to find a quality certified used Honda after yours flooded.