How To Donate To Louisiana & Support The State As It Recovers From Flooding
Following more than a week of intense flooding in Louisiana, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has received requests for assistance from more than than 100,000 individuals and households. FEMA has approved more than $127 million to assist Louisiana residents, but President Obama urged Americans to do everything they can to help out because federal assistance will not be enough on its own. You can show your support on social media and, if you have the resources, you can volunteer your time or donate to these organizations to help Louisiana residents.
The American Red Cross tweeted that its flood efforts in Louisiana could be the organization's largest since Hurricane Sandy. The Red Cross estimates that this relief operation — which aims to provide food, shelter, and other services — will cost at least $30 million. But while many volunteers are helping out with recovery efforts on the ground in Louisiana, and others have donated to various organizations in the area, FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate is worried that most Americans aren't paying enough attention to the state's needs.
"People are kind of like tuned out because of, I think, everything from the elections to the Olympics,’’ Fugate told USA Today. “I don’t think people across the nation realize how big or how bad this is or how much help the Salvation Army, Red Cross, Catholic Charities — just a whole bunch of volunteer organizations that are down here — are going to need."
To make sure that people do realize how much assistance Louisiana still requires, here are some organizations that are seeking donations.
The American Red Cross In Louisiana
The American Red Cross is taking donations in order to provide Louisiana residents with food and shelter. You can text LAFLOODS to 90999 to make a $10 donation to the Red Cross. You can also apply to be a volunteer with the organization. Additionally, if you are in an area affected by the flooding, you can alert your loved ones that you're safe by posting "safe and well messages" on the Red Cross website.
DAV Disaster Relief Response Team
According to CNN, the DAV Disaster Relief Response Team is in Louisiana to provide veterans and their families who have been affected by the flooding with food, clothing, and shelter. You can donate to the DAV online.
NOLA Pay It Forward Fund: Helping Families in Neighboring Parishes
The NOLA Pay It Forward Fund is an initiative reactivated by New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, in partnership with the Greater New Orleans Foundation. Landrieu first launched this fund in May 2011, following the Mississippi River floods. The fund was also activated after Superstorm Sandy. During the Louisiana flooding recovery efforts, four different community organizations — the Salvation Army of Baton Rouge, Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank, Second Harvest of Greater New Orleans, and Capital Area United Way — have already received $10,000 each thanks to the NOLA Pay It Forward Fund. It's not too late to donate, though; you can still do so online.
MAP International is paying visits to some of the hardest-hit areas in Louisiana, and staff members are distributing supplies like masks and hygiene kits to prevent the spread of airborne diseases. You can help them in their efforts by donating online.
United Way Of Southeast Louisiana
The United Way is seeking both monetary donations and flood relief supplies. You can donate money at this link to support the organization's flood relief efforts, or write a check made payable to "United Way of Southeast Louisiana." Specify "Flood Relief" in the memo line and mail it to the following address:
United Way of Southeast LouisianaATTN: Flood Relief2515 Canal StreetNew Orleans, LA 70119
Additionally, there are instructions for donating or shipping supplies — as well as a list of the most needed supplies — at this link.
Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans & Acadiana
Second Harvest Food Bank is providing food, water, and supplies to residents of South Louisiana who have been affected by the flooding. You can support Second Harvest's flooding response efforts by donating online.
Gulf Coast Floods Children's Relief Fund
Save the Children has sent an emergency response team to Baton Rouge to assess children's needs — as well as those of their families — and establish shelters where those needs will be met. To support Save the Children's efforts, you can donate to this relief fund.
Baton Rouge Area Foundation
The Baton Rouge Area Foundation has set up a Louisiana Flood Relief Fund, with a current goal of $2 million. Foundation staff members are assessing areas of greatest need, and donations benefit nonprofits that are supporting Louisiana residents. You can donate online at this link, or if you're an AT&T customer, you can text "RELIEF" to 80077 to donate $10.
CNN's Impact The World also has a more comprehensive list of organizations that are accepting donations and volunteer applications. In addition to these organizations, you can also donate directly to individuals and families through thousands of different GoFundMe campaigns. For example, the Rho Epsilon Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority at Louisiana State University launched a GoFundMe campaign to to distribute $500 gift cards to families and students who have been affected by the flooding. They've already raised more than twice their original goal of $10,000 for this purpose.
As you can see, there are many different organizations that are currently in need of donations and volunteers. Even if you don't have the necessary resources, you can still show your support for relief efforts by raising awareness and sharing donation links on social media.