Helping people in need has always been fundamental to our philosophy. Recently states and territories in the U.S. have been devastated by natural disasters that we’re only beginning to comprehend. The stories and photos from hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Jose, and Maria alone are shocking. As you’ve probably read, in Puerto Rico, 100% of the power grid is down and power will not be restored for months. Every crop on the island has been decimated, meaning locals will go through an entire harvest and planting season before there’s any food that hasn’t been imported.
While having a home freeze dryer can help you get through some emergencies, some emergencies require much more – including friends, neighbors, and strangers who are willing to help. Donating to a large national or international organization never hurts, but sometimes it feels better to donate in smaller concentric circles, such as a friend’s GoFundMe page or to a specific community drive at church.
If it seems overwhelming to figure out where to give, here is a list of a few organizations who are doing good work on the ground (and vetted by Charity Navigator):
Airways Aid – Airways Aid is an outread of Airways Magazine. They are loading planes with thousands of pounds of supplies headed for Puerto Rico and the islands. Donations go directly to buy supplies.
Global Giving – Global Giving is an international crowdfunding community. Donations are used to purchase food, fuel, shelter, water, and hygiene products for hurricane victims in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. To donate to Texans affected by Hurricane Harvey, visit Global Giving’s Harvey Relief page.
Operation USA – Operation USA reports only a 1.8% administration overhead. This organization provides disaster relief to children and families all over the world, including United States territories.
Army Emergency Relief – AER scores a perfect 100% with Charity Navigator’s vetting process. This organization provides scholarships for veterans and their families, but they also provide disaster relief and are taking donations.
Mercy Chefs – Mercy Chefs make their way to the hardest hit areas of a disaster, set up their generators, and start cooking. They feed thousands of people a day, including first responders.
Other Ways to Help
Besides donating money, there are other ways to help.
- Make Room for One More – Thousands of pets have been displaced by the wildfires and storms. Adopt a dog or cat from a local shelter or a shelter that has taken in furry refugees.
- Shelter a Friend – If you have room to host a displaced family or person, consider opening your home. Put the word out on social media or through your networks. A clean, safe, quiet place to rest and recharge (and file FEMA paperwork) may be what’s needed in early stages of a disaster.
- Go Local – Check with your local fire or police department, or local church, to see if they are connected with sister organizations in affected areas. If they are, they’re likely collecting donations of supplies to send.
We love hearing stories of how your freeze dryer got you through troubled times, so keep sending those in. We also know that sometimes people need far more than food to get through such unimaginable disasters as the ones we’ve seen in the last few weeks. Whatever way you choose to help, we encourage you to get involved.