The compassion and generosity of Illinoisans is never more evident than during and after a disaster. As many Illinois residents seek ways to help our fellow Americans in Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Georgia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands devastated by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, here is some important information to ensure your support is most helpful to those in need.
- The most effective way to support disaster survivors in their recovery is to donate money and time to trusted voluntary, faith- and community-based charitable organizations. This allows these reputable organizations to obtain needed resources nearer to the disaster location and more efficiently manage logistics and transportation costs related to moving large volumes of donated items.
- Donate through a trusted relief organization. The National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD) lists trusted organizations receiving donations, many of which are already coordinating relief and response efforts in the impacted areas. A list of vetted organizations is available on the NVOAD website at https://www.nvoad.org/howtohelp.
- Please do not donate unsolicited goods, such as used clothing, miscellaneous household items, etc. Unless specifically requested, these may not meet the needs of disaster survivors.
- Volunteers should not self-deploy to a disaster site. Anyone seeking an opportunity to get involved in response and recovery operations is encouraged to volunteer with local and nationally known organizations. Information about volunteer opportunities in hurricane-impacted areas can be found on the NVOAD website at https://www.nvoad.org/howtohelp/volunteer.
It’s important to remember that recovery from disasters of this magnitude will take months, even years. So, too, will the need for generosity from caring Americans.