Here's How You Can Help Victims of Hurricane Laura Right Now

Rose Minutaglio
·5 mins read
Photo credit: ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS - Getty Images
Photo credit: ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS - Getty Images

From ELLE

Hurricane Laura made landfall on Thursday as one of the strongest storms in U.S. history, ravaging the coastlines of Texas and Louisiana. Homes, businesses, and schools have been completely destroyed, and hundreds of thousands of people are now without power. At least six people died, including a 14-year-old girl from Leesville, LA.

As the Gulf Coast starts to dig out, here are ways you can help. Be sure to consult a nonprofit grader, like Charity Navigator or Guidestar, before giving any money.

Cajun Navy

The Cajun Navy is a citizen-led non-profit dedicated to saving lives and providing relief during natural disasters. You can request a rescue or supplies here. The group is also accepting donations for rubber boots, insect spray, masks, and disinfectant. You can make a monetary donation here.

SBP

SBP, a Louisiana disaster recovery group created in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, is looking for local volunteers and monetary donations for supplies to rebuild homes. The organization, originally called the St. Bernard Project, also advocates for disaster recovery strategy reform.

The Community Foundation of Southwest Louisiana

The Community Foundation of Southwest Louisiana connects philanthropists with nonprofits. The organization is currently raising money "from people who want to help their neighbors in Southwest Louisiana return to the lives they’d known before this disaster struck." Donations will pay for immediate needs like food, shelter, and medicine, and then to helping long-term recovery make "places more resilient for the next time disaster visits."

The Houston Food Bank

The Houston Food Bank is sending out 40 tractor trailer loaded with disaster-relief products to help local communities. The Food Bank is accepting donations here to fill boxes with food for people across its 18-county service area. Every dollar donated provides someone with access to three meals. To volunteer with the organization, text DisasterVol to 51555.

Photo credit: Joe Raedle - Getty Images
Photo credit: Joe Raedle - Getty Images

Austin Disaster Relief

The Austin Disaster Relief Network is working with Texas government officials to "mobilize our network of trained and badged volunteers to help evacuees settle into local hotels and take shelter from the storm." Donations will be distributed in the form of clothing, PPE, and hygiene kits. The ADR is also asking for volunteers here.

The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army organized more than 40 food trucks for first-responders and survivors in Louisiana, Texas, and Arkansas. The group is also providing "emotional and spiritual care and other emergency services." Donations will cover meals, drinks, snacks and "other critical commodities desperately needed by survivors and rescue workers."

All Hands and Hearts

The All Hands and Hearts emergency hurricane response team is deploying volunteers to help clean up disaster sites and rebuild homes once it is safe to do so. The organization is accepting volunteers if you live in the area or donations for its Laura relief fund.

American Red Cross

The Red Cross is on the ground supporting local officials and assisting community response plans focused on providing shelter, food, and comfort to hurricane victims. You can donate by selecting the "Hurricane Laura" option here or by texting LAURA to 90999 to contribute $10.

Photo credit: Joe Raedle - Getty Images
Photo credit: Joe Raedle - Getty Images

Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center

The Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center put out a call for donations after it was forced to shut down several locations due to Hurricane Laura. The closures resulted in a loss of 600 units of blood when, typically, the donation center receives 800 to 1,000 units a day, according to ABC News 13.

"It does make it a little bit challenging," Cameron Palmer, community development coordinator with Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center, told the news station. "We are in a pandemic, and now a hurricane is coming through, but like we said, we don't want the community to forget about the patients in the hospital that need blood transfusions to survive."

Find a location to donate blood here.

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