Your help is needed, but donate and volunteer wisely

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BATON ROUGE, Louisiana – The immense generosity of private donations and volunteers is helping Louisiana communities recover from Hurricane Ida. These efforts can increase the capacities of local, state and tribal authorities and survivors throughout the recovery process, which can take months or even years.

Volunteers should work with a response or relief agency to ensure that their efforts will help those who need it most. If you are not already logged into an organization, you can visit Volunteer Louisiana online at Volunteerlouisiana.gov to find volunteer opportunities in affected communities. Volunteer Louisiana helps promote volunteerism and coordinate spontaneous solo volunteers in disaster situations.

Donations must be targeted. An unexpected influx of donated items can exceed the needs of a community or force the limited workforce of a relief organization to manage donated property instead of the needs of survivors. Targeting your donations will improve coordination with disaster relief organizations and local and national emergency managers so that those in need receive the right help.

That’s why the most effective way to help disaster survivors is to make tax-deductible cash donations to trusted voluntary, faith-based, and community-based charities. This gives them the ability to purchase the resources or services most needed to provide to survivors.

The easiest way to help is to donate cash. Cash contributions to voluntary organizations make sense for several reasons:

  • Cash donations put experienced disaster response and relief organizations on the ground and provide the constant flow of resources and services needed to help survivors recover.
  • When organizations or survivors buy goods or services locally, they put money back into the local economy to help businesses recover faster.
  • It supports disaster responders on the ground, keeping the focus on response and recovery instead of collecting, sorting and transporting donated goods that communities have not requested.

To ensure that your cash contribution is used responsibly, donate only to reputable organizations. To find a list of trusted organizations, you can visit Volunteer Louisiana online at Volunteerlouisiana.gov/donate and National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD) at www.nvoad.org.

For the latest information, visit fema.gov/disaster/4611. Follow the FEMA Region 6 Twitter account on twitter.com/FEMARegion6 or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/femaregion6/

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