How To Help Families Impacted By Hurricanes Fiona and Ian

For those able to help, here are vetted organizations providing relief for people in Puerto Rico and Florida.

Person clears trees from road
Photo: Getty

Two powerful storms, Fiona and Ian, have made headlines over the last two weeks. But behind the headlines and footage are people who lost power, homes, livelihoods, and lives.

Fiona ripped through Puerto Rico, where nearly half of the citizens live below the poverty line. About 1 in 5 citizens were still without power Thursday, according to a Politico report. Residents, with memories of Hurricane Maria still fresh, feared they'd be forgotten as Ian made landfall in Florida.

Meanwhile, Ian weakened to a tropical storm, but high winds and flooding have left more than 2 million without power, CNN reports.

It's natural for those unaffected to want to step in and help, but it's essential to ensure your time, money, and products are reaching the right people. Here's how to help those in need.

Donate to Relief and Recovery

The people who were affected by these storms have several needs. Organizations have people on the ground evaluating who needs what. Donating money can help these organizations supply people with necessities.

  • The Hispanic Federation Puerto Rico works with other local and nonprofit organizations to help the area rebuild. In the wake of Fiona, The Hispanic Federation is providing resources and supplies to those who need them and has opened a disaster recovery fund.
  • Comedores Sociales de Puerto Rico is a local food kitchen in Puerto Rico. Instead of non-perishables, the organization is requesting financial donations.
  • The Foundation for Puerto Rico aims to help Puerto Rico reach its potential in the global economy. Hurricane Fiona relief efforts include working with small businesses to provide loans and coworking spaces. They are requesting donations.
  • Global Giving, a nonprofit that works with other vetted nonprofits, is seeking financial donations to meet Fiona and Ian survivors' needs for food, shelter, emergency supplies, and more.
  • PRxPR Relief and Rebuild Fund started in response to Hurricane Maria in 2017 and is again going to work to assist survivors. The organization has opened a relief fund for people to make financial contributions.
  • The Florida Disaster Fund was activated Wednesday and is a way for people from around the world to donate to relief efforts.
  • The Salvation Army's Florida chapter will be providing assistance through a field kitchen and 30 mobile feeding units but says financial donations are best. They can be made online or by phone at 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769).
  • Save the Children has opened a Hurricane Ian relief fund so it can provide child-focused items to affected kids.
  • Project HOPE provides humanitarian relief. The nonprofit is accepting monetary donations for individuals affected by Fiona and Ian.
  • Direct Relief donates medical supplies and is accepting money to help survivors of Fiona and Ian.

Give Food and Supplies

Though monetary donations help people receive food and supplies, some people want to send something tangible. Here are a few ways to do that.

  • Women-led Puerto Rican nonprofit Taller Salud is accepting supplies, including non-perishable food items and diapers.
  • Puerto Rican-based Brigada Solidaria del Oeste is seeking donations like solar lamps, water purification tablets, and first aid kits. Monetary donations are also welcome.
  • The Puerto Rico Civic Club is a California-based organization asking people to purchase specific items off Amazon to help Fiona survivors without power. People can also donate money via PayPal to help the organization fund solar lights and generators.

Volunteer

Parents can teach children about being charitable by leading by example and talking about donating time, money, and goods as a family.

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