As we watch the devastation happening in the Texas Gulf Coast region as a result of Hurricane Harvey, our thoughts and prayers are lifted up for the people currently suffering during the storm and the ensuing aftermath of the flood waters. We also send our prayers of support for the Emergency Responders, Law Enforcement, 911 Telecommunicators, Military and other Volunteers there working tirelessly to provide rescue and relief to those affected. This situation will be ongoing for many days and weeks to come, and these responders will need our support through prayer and encouragement for some time.
When disaster strikes, the best (and sometimes worst) of society typically comes out. The question is always raised by those of us not affected, “How Can We Help?” There are many RIGHT ways to provide assistance, and there are many WRONG but WELL-INTENTIONED ways as well. Often, a well-intentioned but troublesome method of assistance is made when individuals and groups collect goods to send to the devastated area. Collecting clothing, food, water and other items to send somewhere can be a rewarding experience for local groups. Truthfully, it seems like the best thing to do, and it does make the giver feel good that they provided something of material value. But in the end, without a specific request or need from the affected region, the donated goods often go to waste and create an additional burden on local agencies and officials trying to figure out what to do with all this “stuff.” So many times the donated goods must be discarded due to sanitary issues as well as a lack of ways to distribute them.
In general, the RIGHT way to help is to send financial donations to the local, state and national agencies that are well-versed in disaster response. Organizations such as the NC Baptist Men and Women Disaster Relief Ministry, the Salvation Army, the American Red Cross, Samaritan’s Purse, and others have the resources and means to get in there and get quality relief to the victims in a timely manner. These organizations are highly trained and routinely respond in a moment’s notice with every resource they have. But those resources cost money to sustain and they are not in a limitless supply. Your financial donation to them not only helps them respond to the immediate need, but to other disasters in the future.
If you feel the need to provide assistance, consider supporting one of these organizations. There may be other volunteer opportunities in addition to the need for financial assistance. One resource for more information is the “North Carolina Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster” or NC-VOAD. Their website is listed here and can give you more information on these organizations as well as how to volunteer your support not only for this disaster but for future disasters. https://www.ncvoad.org/cms/. You may also check on other websites for disaster response organizations for information on how to support them as well. Thank you for your interest and dedication to support our neighbors both near and far!!
Douglas P. Logan
Emergency Management Director
County of Granville
Post Office Box 598
5662 Cornwall Road
Oxford, NC 27565
(919) 603-1310 Voice
(919) 603-1399 Fax
Image Source: Getty / Scott Olson