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Florida Hurricane Information Quick Links

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 2, 2005
CONTACT: Scott VanDeman (850) 414-2974

Hurricane Volunteers:
Donate and Serve Wisely to Help Hurricane Victims

See www.volunteerflorida.org for Details or Call(800) FL HELP 1, that's (800) 354-3571

An informed approach to Hurricane Donations and Volunteer
Service maximizes the value of your efforts.

STATE EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CENTER, TALLAHASSEE – As residents in South Florida and all along the Gulf Coast begin recovering and rebuilding from Hurricane Katrina, Volunteer Florida encourages everyone to contribute wisely toward recovery efforts. Consider the following before you donate goods, money, or your time.

Financial Contributions are Preferred: Cash donations help to avoid the labor and expense of sorting, packing, transporting and distributing donated goods, and voluntary relief agencies can use cash to meet hurricane victims’ specific needs more quickly.

Donate through an Experienced Disaster Relief Organization: Relief agencies prefer the versatility of cash donations; however, some have the infrastructure in place to store and distribute donated goods. To prevent waste, donations of goods should be made only to agencies that have requested specific items.

Confirm the Need Before Collecting: Donors should be wary of anyone who claims that “everything is needed.” Many groups have been disappointed that their efforts and the goods they collected were not appreciated. A community hit by disaster, however, does not have the time, manpower or money to dispose of unneeded donations. Get precise information and confirm the need before collecting any donated goods.

Volunteer Wisely to Help Others: In a community struggling to respond to and recover from a disaster, an influx of unexpected or unneeded volunteers and donations can make the process even more difficult. Before traveling to the disaster area to help, learn where and when your skills will be needed. Discuss with volunteer organizers how your needs for food, water and shelter will be met while you are volunteering.

Visit Volunteer Florida for links to disaster relief organizations: The Governor’s Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service, Volunteer Florida, offers a comprehensive directory of links to disaster relief organizations that will be assisting hurricane victims in Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. Volunteer Florida’s Web site is located at volunteerflorida.org.

The Governor’s Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service was established in 1994 by the Florida Legislature to administer grants under the National and Community Service Trust Act of 1993. The Commission grants funds to Florida AmeriCorps and National Service programs; encourages volunteerism for everyone from youths to seniors to people with disabilities; promotes volunteerism in emergency management and preparedness; and helps to strengthen and expand Volunteer Centers in Florida.

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Last updated: November 09, 2007

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