If you have been following the news you will know that this past weekend approximately 10,000 people lost their lives to one of the strongest storms in recorded history. You will know that Typhoon Haiyan flattened entire cities, towns and villages. You will know that fresh water, food and medical supplies are nearly non-existent in some areas.
You will know the situation is beyond dire – it is a living hell for those who did not perish.
You may also feel like me – horrified at the suffering and loss of life, but also feeling helpless to do anything about it.
The good news is the world community has responded with compassion and is currently focused on bringing immediate and meaningful relief to the survivors of Typhoon Haiyan. So, no matter where you are in the world, you can help bring this aid to our fellow brothers and sisters in the Philippines by donating money to a number of amazing agencies dedicated to disaster relief. Whether you can donate a dollar, ten, a hundred, a thousand or more, donate what you can and please do it now.
Many people do ask can I do something other than send money? Unfortunately, gathering relief supplies whether food, clothing or medicine is not as productive, as it is too hard and expensive to gather, sort and ship these items quickly to the people in need. According to some agencies, an onslaught of well meaning in-kind donations can actually hinder their relief efforts.
As basic as it is, the absolute best thing most people can do is donate cash. If you do have the time and skills to help with on-the-ground relief efforts – such as being a doctor or nurse – do contact the most appropriate aid agency and offer your services.
If you are truly cash-strapped – or just want to help collect cash donations – consider organizing a fundraiser event this week at your church, school or book club, and then making a group donation to one of the agencies listed below. You can also sign a petition to help stop climate change — as rising temperatures exacerbate disasters such as the deadly typhoon Haiyan.
So do something meaningful today. Read the list below and make a donation or organize a fundraiser on their behalf. All the organizations below have been vetted and rank high on CharityNavigator.org, an independent organization that rates aid groups on their effectiveness. There are many other worthy groups that are not included here, but are rated high on CharityNavigator.org. However, in order to simplify, I have chosen just a few aid organizations that have been highly recommended by Care2, HuffingtonPost and CharityNavigator.
Without our support, these groups cannot do the life-saving work that they do.
MercyCorps is deploying experienced emergency responders and will be working with partners in the local area to meet the urgent needs of typhoon survivors. Click here to learn more and donate.
UNICEF’s chief concern is a disaster’s impact on children’s health and well-being, and they are working to ensure the safety of children and families affected by the typhoon. Learn more and donate here.
Oxfam has experienced staff on the ground, ready to provide immediate help to people in need. Learn more and donate here.
UNHCR has been operating in the Philippines for many years. According to their website, they are currently distributing emergency shelter, household items and plastic sheets to 16,000 families. Learn more and donate here.
CARE is on the ground providing emergency relief to the survivors of Typhoon Haiyan, which affected 11.3 million people in its deadly path. Learn more and donate here.
This organization is striving to locate disabled and vulnerable people. Handicap International helps injured people by providing them with emergency wheelchairs, crutches and rehabilitation care. Learn more and donate here.
World Food Program
This program accelerates emergency food assistance by delivering supplies to hungry children and families in need. Learn more and donate here.
WSPA’s disaster response team was immediately on the ground helping affected animals and their communities. They have been delivering emergency food for companion animals across seven cities on the island of Cebu, one of the two worst hit provinces. WSPA has also been able to come to the aid of cattle, buffalo and livestock that were in need of urgent medical attention. Learn more and donate here.
Emergency responders and volunteers throughout the Philippines are providing meals and relief items. Already, thousands of hot meals have been provided to survivors. Red Cross volunteers and staff were already on the ground delivering preliminary emergency warnings and safety tips before the typhoon hit. The Philippine Red Cross has also already mobilized its 100 local outposts to help with relief efforts. Give by donating online or mailing a check to your local American Red Cross chapter. Learn more and donate here.
The relief organization is sending medical aid for 20,000 survivors, including antibiotics, wound care supplies and pain relievers. AmeriCares is also giving funds to local organizations to purchase supplies. Learn more and donate here.
International Medical Corps
In the wake of a natural disaster, the organization brings health care services to those that need it most. Providing volunteer doctors and nurses as well as medical training helps recovering communities receive basic and crucial health resources. Learn more and donate here.
Save The Children
The organization has sent relief kits for children and families, including household cleaning items, temporary school tents and learning materials. Learn more and donate here.
Doctors Without Borders
The organization is sending 200 tons of medical and relief items, including vaccines, tents and hygiene kits. Learn more and donate here.
You can also encourage leaders — who are in the middle of climate discussion talks right now in Warsaw — to take stronger action against global warming. Rising temperatures exacerbate disasters such as the deadly typhoon Haiyan. The Philippines is rated as the third most vulnerable nation from climate change, so it is no surprise, in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan, that Philippines climate negotiator Naderev “Yeb” Saño told the delegation at the 19th United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP19) this week that he is officially on a hunger strike until “clear progress is made” at the convention.
Click on the next page for video coverage on the typhoon damage.