While the First Coast was spared from Hurricane Dorian’s wrath, others, especially in the Bahamas, weren’t as fortunate.
How can you help those who were devastated by Dorian? Here are few places to start:
The Jessie Ball duPont Fund is offering a 1:1 cash match. If you give $25, the Fund will match at $25, making your total impact $50. Donations must be made at this link to receive the match. Cash donations made by September 20 will qualify.
The Nonprofit Center of Northeast Florida is also taking donated items for hurricane survivors in the Bahamas:
- nonperishable food (Beans, nuts, peanut butter, bread, protein bars, etc.),
- insect repellents,
- mosquito nets,
Items must be dropped off by Friday, Sept. 13, on the first floor of the Jessie Ball DuPont Center in the Great Hall (look for the sign) at 40 E. Adams St. in Downtown Jacksonville.
The First Coast YMCA and American Red Cross are also partnering to collect money and items. More info is at this page.
Lakeland-based Publix is having a donation drive. Customers can donate any amount they choose during checkout at any First Coast area Publix store. All of the donated funds will go to the American Red Cross, according to Publix. Donations will enable the American Red Cross to respond to and help people recover from Dorian.
Southeastern Grocers, the Jacksonville-based parent company of Winn-Dixie and Harveys Supermarkets, has also launched a similar community donation program.
Other local efforts are also coming together. At Landrum Middle School in Ponte Vedra Beach, the school’s parent, teacher organization (PTO) has teamed up with St. Augustine-based Island Crisis Flyers to help collect items and provide relief to families in the Bahamas.
And WJCT News partner News4Jax reports that 4 Rivers Smokehouse restaurants, including the one in Jacksonville at 9220 Baymeadows Road, will break with tradition, opening its Florida locations on Sunday to feed people and raise money for Hurricane Dorian relief efforts in the Bahamas.
Meanwhile, WJCT News partner the Florida Times-Union reports a Jacksonville man spent almost $50,000 at a local Costco to buy about 100 generators and other supplies for Dorian relief efforts in the Bahamas. He wants to remain anonymous, according to the paper.
Another way to find ways to help is through Charity Navigator, which has a list of "highly-rated organizations providing aid and relief," according to Sabeen Perwaiz, executive director of Florida Nonprofit Alliance. She also suggested World Central Kitchen.
Finally, a word of caution. While the majority of people are simply trying to help, scammers also look for opportunities to make a quick buck by taking advantage of the good will of others. Before donating, be wary of fundraisers put together by people you don’t know or by unverified organizations.
For tips on how to avoid charity scams, see this Federal Trade Comission webpage.