Have you seen the news lately? Houston, TX is trying to recover from Hurricane Harvey and we just experienced Hurricane Irma all over Florida. Cuba, PR, Leeward Islands, the Keys and the West Coast of Florida were mostly affected with high winds and storm surge. While Miami, where I live, was not in the eye of the storm, it was truly unbelievable to see how strong the wind was and the damage it caused. We were expecting to be hit by a category 5 hurricane and I am forever grateful that was not the case; the city would have suffered tremendously if that happened.
It's been 3 days now since the hurricane hit and things are not back to normal yet. Street lights do not work, electricity is still not back in most places, trees are still on the roads and lines are unbelievable to get gas and food. Some people are leaving shelters to find that they cannot get back into their homes as they were deemed unsafe and are having to sleep on the street.
I can't even begin to imagine what it must be like in Houston and the Caribbean, so I pray. Pray for those in need and those going through difficult times; those that have lost family members and their homes. I also pray for those that are able to help to go out and help, and for those that can donate to do so as well.
In times of despair, there is a ton of evil, people that take advantage of the situation for their own benefit and scam the good people that are trying to help. Do not fall for bogus websites and scam artists trying to take your money.
Here I have listed a few organizations where you can safely donate, they were also posted by USA today:
American Red Cross, which has mobilized its second massive hurricane response in two weeks and is providing critical aid for Irma and Harvey victims.
Americares, which is providing emergency health care access in Texas for Harvey victims, is also partnering with health centers in Florida along Irma's path.
PayPal, which operates a worldwide online payments system, has launched a disaster relief campaign and says it will waive processing costs to ensure that 100% of donations go toward the effort. The company, which is also running a campaign for Harvey, is a sponsor of a telethon called Hand in Hand – A Benefit for Hurricane Relief that was aired yesterday and featured more than 40 celebrities.
Habitat for Humanity is working with its local offices in Florida and the Caribbean to inspect damage from Irma. The group is helping families clean up after both Harvey and Irma and will help with rebuilding efforts. Donations can be made at habitat.org/hurricanes or by calling 1-800-HABITAT.
The Salvation Army has mobilized Harvey and Irma relief teams to provide meals, shelter and emotional and spiritual care, the organization says.
The American University of Antigua has created a fund specifically for the battered nation of Barbuda to provide food, water and medicine in addition to longer-term recovery assistance. All donations to this fund will be matched by AUA, the university says.
America is an amazing country with amazing and kind people. I have seen so much good among neighbors and strangers trying to help each other. In times of hardship is when it counts the most and we can all see how our country comes together. Let's continue helping each other out and we will soon overcome the difficult times.