Where should I donate for Hurricane Ian? – Sun Sentinel


Q: I want to make a donation to help survivors of Hurricane Ian, but I want to make sure it’s a reputable charity that will use the money in the most efficient way. Do you have any recommendations? — Rebecca, Boca Raton

A: I have wondered the same thing after a disaster strikes a part of the world: How can I know that my donation is going right to the victims and not paying bureaucrats who are sitting in their offices?

Several charities have popped up since Hurricane Ian hit the west coast of Florida, and it’s hard to know whether they are legitimate and doing what they say they will do. I would lean toward nonprofits that have been around for a while and have reputations for effectiveness.

The BBB Wise Giving Alliance offers a few questions you can research to screen the competence of a charity, including:

  • Are they familiar with the area?
  • How long have they been around?
  • What exactly will they be doing? (Providing shelter, food, medical care?)

You also can check out Charity Navigator, which evaluates nonprofits for their accountability and transparency. They created a list of 25 agencies that are helping post-hurricane, to which you can “give with confidence,” including the American Red Cross, Save the Children and the Center for Disaster Philanthropy.

After Hurricane Ian, Sammie Clark, 11, left, and Nevaeh Curran, 11, explored a flooded mobile home community in Iona, an unincorporated community in Lee County near Fort Myers.

We at the South Florida Sun Sentinel also compiled a list of local organizations that have established a presence on the Gulf Coast, and we keep updating it. (Find it at SunSentinel.com/news/weather/hurricane.) You can choose among organizations that are offering food, finding homes for animals, providing housing or helping with repairs. There are widely known organizations such as Publix Super Markets Charities and smaller efforts through Jewish federations, malls, credit unions, dog-rescue groups and schools.

There are so many options, so pick the one that syncs with your values. After the initial news coverage of a major disaster, many of us move on with our lives and lose sight of all the rebuilding that must be done. It will take years, if not decades, for many on the Gulf Coast to put their lives back together, and it’s important for us not to forget them.

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