No matter where you are, you’ve likely heard much about the wrath of Hurricane Florence since it made landfall last Friday morning. If you live along the coastal Carolinas like us here in Wilmington, you’re probably stuck in some sort of limbo right now—deciding when to return or, if you’re here already, struggling with the basic needs we usually take for granted.
When disasters occur, so often our initial reflex is to begin tallying the destruction: How many casualties? How many homes lost? How many businesses ruined? It’s easy to blame the digital age for such a cynical routine, but it’s that same ubiquitous media—social platforms and websites and 24 hour news channels—that also allow us to spread the word faster than ever about how we can help.
Whether you’re near or far, all of us at tekMountain would like to share some resources for those who want to help Hurricane Florence relief efforts.
“Make informed donations.”
NPR put together a fantastic article listing national and local organizations to which you can donate.
In the article, Julia Brooks, a researcher with the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, asserts that, though many people assume supplies are the most effective way to offer support, the logistics of receiving, sorting, warehousing, and delivering supplies actually can hinder first responders.
Bottom line: unless credible groups on the ground have requested specific supplies and have said they’re ready to receive them, consider donating cash instead.
Here’s where NPR suggests to visit Charity Navigator, an online rating system created via professional analysis of tens of thousands of non-profit financial documents. Each charity’s profile will offer you a rating out of 4 stars based on that charity’s financial health as well as their accountability and transparency.
As a company, tekMountain supports donating to:
Wilmington Area Rebuilding Ministry (WARM) – WARM organizes volunteers and raises funds to complete safety-related, urgent home repairs and accessibility upgrades for low-income homeowners in Brunswick, New Hanover, and Pender Counties.
The Good Shepherd Center – The mission of Good Shepherd Center is to feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, and foster transition to housing. Established in 1983 as a soup kitchen, Good Shepherd has grown to become the largest provider of homeless services in the region.
Some other Hurricane Florence relief efforts include:
World Central Kitchen – James Beard Award-winning chef José Andrés founded World Central Kitchen after the devastating 2010 earthquake in Haiti with the belief that food can be an agent of change. The organization has expanded globally and has developed into a group of chefs creating smart solutions to hunger and poverty.
Task Force 75 – Task Force 75 was formed in 2017 in response to natural disasters occurring in the United States and its territories. This organization benefits those Americans affected by disasters by providing a nationwide rapid response team to assist and augment government and civilian agencies in disaster relief operations.
GoFundMe – The crowdfunding site has put together an aggregate landing page for all of its Hurricane Florence campaigns, nonprofit and personal alike.
The North Carolina Disaster Relief Fund – Overseen by the state government, the North Carolina Disaster Relief Fund is currently accepting contributions for Hurricane Florence damage. Contributions will help with immediate unmet needs of Hurricane Florence victims
Hearts With Hands – Hearts With Hands was founded in Asheville, NC following Hurricane Andrew in 1992. The organization provides physical, spiritual, medical, economic and other necessary aid to victims of poverty, natural disaster, or famine.
Foundation for the Carolinas – Established in 1958, Foundation for the Carolinas is a civic leader and philanthropic partner. With more than $2.5 billion in charitable assets across 2,600 charitable funds established by families, nonprofits and businesses, the organization is one of the largest community foundations in the US.
The American Red Cross – Founded in 1881, the American Red Cross has been the nation’s premier emergency response organization, bringing shelter, food and comfort to those affected by disasters, large and small.
Support The Port– Support The Port Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)3 non profit organization that aims to enhance, cultivate and provide a renewed sense of community ownership and excellence for underserved communities.
Port City Strong
Though the floodwaters are still cresting throughout the Carolinas, the collective power of first responders and volunteers has proven even more relentless. Over the past week, hardly an hour has gone by where there wasn’t a news story or social media post highlighting the selfless acts of so many people to help those in need. On behalf of the greater Wilmington area, we at tekMountain would like to thank everyone for the organized rescue efforts and aid, as well as the monetary and supply donations that continue to make their way to the region.
For many of us, there is still much uncertainty regarding the condition of our homes, neighborhoods, and the jobs we hope to return to soon.
But one thing’s for sure: Wilmington as a city and community will bounce back strong.