My brother and his family live on the west coast of Florida – just south of Tampa on Anna Marie Island. They evacuated last week and they were expecting the worst. Their home – which is on the beach – and a rental condo across the street which is prone to flooding – were miraculously unharmed with the exception of some fallen trees and power outages. Hurricane Irma made a last-minute turn inward barely missing their beloved Island and home. Our family went from full on panic and anxiety to relief. After it was determined that their home was safe, my brother made a social media request:
Emotions have shifted from fear of losing everything to guilt over why we were spared while others lost so much.
We thank you all for your thoughts and kind words. So many of you have told us to let you know if we need anything.
I am asking you now to give! Donate money to one of the many organizations working so hard to help those who need help! There are many people suffering in Texas and Florida and beyond and we all need to dig a little deeper to help them out.
I love that he shared this…and then I had to figure out how to fulfill his request. Admittedly, I tend to get overwhelmed with disaster donating – and I’ve heard similar concerns from friends – where will my money and/or time best be used? There are so many incredible organizations and many others that pop-up in these times of need. Usually, these groups do great work…but every once in a while there are problems with the allocation of money and resources that plant a seed of doubt.
I’d like to share one of my favorite organizations to support, The Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP). To be honest, until recently, I assumed the CDP was only for large donors and organizations, but after Hurricane Harvey struck, I was able to donate a small amount – that worked for our family – to help with recovery that was both easy, efficient and put me at ease that my money will be spent the way it is needed.
Here’s why I love the CDP to donate during and after disasters as a family and a mom:
The donate tab on the webpage allows you to donate any amount on the spot. Currently, you can choose whether your donation will go towards the Hurricane Irma Recovery Fund or the Hurricane Harvey Recovery Fund.
2.Disaster Perspective from a Fellow Mom
My dear friend and Vice President of CDP, Regine, has given me guidance on how to respond, prepare and support disasters worldwide. This is huge for me as I grapple with how to help. She is the one who calls me when it’s time for my family to get into the basement during tornado warnings here in Nashville (we’ve even made our way into HER basement with all of our kids once or twice), she checks in with me on family and friends affected by disasters in New Orleans, Florida and beyond. She’s also explained storm surges to me, earthquake intensities and the difference between a tropical storm and a hurricane – in language that I can understand. Regine also frequently writes informative, thoughtful and educational blog posts about her experiences and thoughts around disasters as a mom to two young girls. Here are a few of my favorites over the years and you’ll see what I mean:
3.An Expanded World View
As a mom who strives to teach my children to expand their worldview (and my own), I appreciate that through the CDP I can support communities who are rebuilding in the Philippine’s, Haiti or Chile and receive updates and education on the work that is being done.
4.Focus is Medium & Long-Term Recovery
CDP knows from past disasters that full recovery will take many years. The CDP Hurricane Harvey Recovery Fund , for example, allows you to give now to support recovery needs that continue long after the TV cameras and news teams stop coverage and turn the eye of the world away from this disaster. They continue to support recovery efforts following devastating floods in Louisiana and up and down the Mississippi river – a geography often plagued with flooding – which makes me confident that their help will continue for years after Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
5.Educational Blog & Newsletter
The CDP blog and newsletter provide me with tons of information about how communities are being helped, informative webinars that are coming up and general information on how I can help as an individual or with the support of a larger organization. They also provide information that I can share with my own girls when explaining these events to them.
If you’re like me and feel a little overwhelmed by ways you can help, check out the Center for Disaster Philanthropy. In the meantime, we are sending lots of love and strength to all those affected by these recent disasters.
(Photo above is sea glass we found in Rincon, Puerto Rico several years ago. Puerto Rico was devastated by Hurricane Irma and they are preparing for Hurricane Jose soon too.)