Hurricane Matthew seriously hurt Haiti and damaged the United States. Days after the hurricane the death toll continues to rise, thousands are without power, and extensive damage has displaced millions throughout the Caribbean and America.

Many have been left without mothers, fathers, shelter or food.  People are in need.

If you like many others want to help those in need, here’s 3 of the best ways to help.

Double-check the charity

Residents work clearing a house destroyed by Hurricane Matthew in Les Cayes, Haiti, October 5, 2016.
Residents work clearing a house destroyed by Hurricane Matthew in Les Cayes, Haiti, October 5, 2016.

Donating to a charity is a great way to help those in need, but it’s important to avoid scams. The Center for International Disaster Information (CIDI) has compiled a list of charities that are sending help, and it recommends checking with a charity monitoring organization like GiveWell, Charity Navigator, Charity Watch, or the Better Business Bureau before donating.

Unfortunately in times of disaster, there are some who wish to exploit the goodness in others. Do your research and double-check the charity you make a donation to.

Here’s a great list of reputable charities.

 

Cash is the best way to help

(AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery)
(AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery)

Most charities prefer monetary donations to avoid fees and wait times. Cash is instant, which means the money can instantly help people.

“Unlike material donations, cash involves no transportation costs, shipping delays, or customs fees. It also enables relief organizations to spend more time providing aid by spending less time managing goods,”  CIDI explains on its website.

“Even the smallest contribution can make a big difference,” President Obama said in a Hurricane Matthew press conference on Friday.

 

Volunteer at home, be careful abroad

americanredcross

The Red Cross has put out a call for volunteers to help the affected areas in the Carolinas, Georgia and Florida. Volunteer Florida also has a form you can fill out to learn more. If you live in these affected areas, consider donating your time to help those in need.

Many times, volunteering overseas is dangerous. Even in the immediate aftermath, people rushing to the site can cause problems. Clogged roads, limited supplies, and more people can make it harder for experts to help. CIDI is accepting applications to help overseas, but they have rigorous criteria to ensure they are helping and not harming.

“Candidates with the greatest likelihood of being chosen have fluency in the language of the disaster-affected area, prior relief experience, and expertise in technical fields such as medicine, communications, logistics, water/sanitation and engineering,” CIDI explains.

 

Do what you can and help the people affected by this hurricane.

“There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.” – John Holmes

 

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