Lending a hand for victims of Harvey

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By Kelly Hockenberry, Columnist, The Times

The devastation as a result of Hurricane Harvey is overwhelming. When faced with a crisis of epic proportions, it is easy to feel paralyzed by the work that lies ahead. How can we help when we are hundreds of miles away? Unless we have a personal connection, the level of aid we can provide is limited to making a donation of supplies or a monetary contribution. To add insult to injury, worrying that the money you give may not reach the victims can deter some from helping at all.

Thankfully, I found a blog post from NPR ( http://n.pr/2wiUXjV) that did some leg work in terms of listing organizations on the front line of the relief effort. And, they included a link to Charity Navigator (click here: https://www.charitynavigator.org/) which is a website designed to vet a charity by listing their financial history, accountability, and transparency.

Of course, the Red Cross is always a good idea; however, there are some organizations that are less well known that caught my eye for doing amazing work:

Airbnb has an “urgent accommodations” site in order for evacuees to find a place to stay or for people to offer their homes to those in need, free of charge. Service fees are also waived through the end of September. Click here to share http://bit.ly/2wOHQZY

American Kidney Fund – One hundred percent of your donation to AKF goes to helping dialysis patients receive treatment in the wake of the storm. Imagine how terrifying it must be to have a life-threatening condition and be worried about how you will get transportation to your medical appointments. Click here to help http://bit.ly/2ey0KxT

An aerial view of flooding ain a residential area in Southeast Texas, Aug. 31, 2017. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Daniel J. Martinez. Image: courtesy Department of Defense.

Save the Children- Seeing the footage of frightened children and stranded families in the aftermath of Harvey is especially heartbreaking. It is hard enough for adults to internalize and process the magnitude of what is happening around them, let alone the very young. Save the Children works around the clock offering aid. A gift of $100 helps to supply a safe space in a shelter to 20 kids. Click here http://bit.ly/2ePAOKV

Right here in our local community, you can donate much needed non-perishable food, water bottles, gift cards, medical, and cleaning supplies to fill a tractor trailer located in the Giant parking lot at the Dilworthtown Crossing Shopping Center. Volunteers are there from 9am to 9pm for the next few days.

At No.109 Shop in Kennett Square, owner Heather Robitzer is donating 10% of her profits from Tuesday, September 5th through Friday, September 8th to the organization Undies for Everyone. This charity provides clean undergarments to the thousands of homeless people displaced after Harvey. When you think about it, people donate used clothes, but clean underwear is in scarce supply. Click here to watch a video about the organization: https://www.facebook.com/brenebrown/videos/1795556230459478/

Please, comment below with your ideas for how to help. As the saying goes, it takes a village…and together we can make a huge difference in this rescue and recovery effort.

Happy Weekend

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