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Share your stories and ideas with the network as you respond to crisis and disaster.

Jan 20
2010
Misti McHatton

How Can I Help?

Posted by: Misti McHatton

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When tragedy strikes, such as it did last week in Haiti, we are often left with a feeling of wanting to help but not knowing what to do or what is most needed. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has given some guidelines as to the most effective ways to help whether you want to donate or volunteer.
To Donate: Provide a financial contribution to a voluntary organization involved in disaster activities.
Find out what services state government is providing via Website or state donations hotline.
Do not begin collecting, packing or shipping until or unless you have a known recipient to accept it.

To Volunteer:

Get training before the next disaster.
Connect and affiliate with a voluntary organization.
Consider volunteering for the long-term community recovery.
Check with your local Volunteer Center for volunteer opportunities in your own community (1-800-Volunteer).
Plan to be as self-sufficient as possible (go to www.ready.gov for assistance in developing your plan).

Although the sense of wanting to send more than “just money” can sometimes be really strong, it is what is most needed and what is asked for by our government and other agencies serving in the area of the disaster.  God says that we are to be aware of what our gov't requests/requires and follow them if within our Christian freedom to do so. The desires to help are commendable…it’s important that we learn to help within the structures set up so that our giving can be most effective.
For more information about how you can help in a disaster, visit the FEMA web site at www.fema.gov. If you want to get more involved and volunteer, visit the volunteer section of the CEN directory for a list of places to find volunteer information.


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