After several devastating hurricanes this summer, many of us feel the desperate urge to help in any way we can. For chef José Andrés, that means cooking food for thousands of hungry people in Puerto Rico who are currently struggling without access to food, water and power.
Thanks to your support of the Nutrish dog food line, Rachael herself was able to donate $1 million from the Rachael Ray Foundation to support animal rescue organizations in Texas and Louisiana after Hurricane Harvey. Thousands of volunteers—most of whom are normal, everyday people—have mobilized in Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Puerto Rico, Mexico City and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
But no matter where you live, no matter how helpless these crises may feel, there are ways you can help right now. Here are a few relief organizations currently seeking donations:
American Red Cross: So far, the Red Cross has been able to provide "20,000 comfort kits; 6,000 blankets; 5,000 cleanup kits; 8,000 tarps; and thousands of flashlights, batteries, dust masks, and hand sanitizer," according to its website. Among many other efforts, volunteers are setting up mobile satellite phones and generators to connect family members who have lost touch without power.
ConPRmetidos: In partnership with the Foundation for Puerto Rico, this organization is working toward long-term recovery efforts in the areas most devastated by Hurricane Maria.
GlobalGiving: Through crowdsourcing, GlobalGiving is working with a two-pronged approach. "Initially, the fund will help first responders meet survivors' immediate needs for food, fuel, clean water, hygiene products, and shelter. Once initial relief work is complete, this fund will transition to support longer-term recovery efforts run by local, vetted organizations responding to this disaster."
The Sato Project: This local dog rescue organization focused on Yabucoa's Dead Dog Beach is working hard to rescue homeless dogs and transport them to safe shelters.
UNICEF USA: A $28 donation provides an emergency kit containing essentials like water purification tablets, water containers, soap, toothpaste, detergent and sanitary pads.
United for Puerto Rico: Beatriz Roselló, the First Lady of Puerto Rico, has teamed up with major corporations like Coca-Cola, Walmart and Burger King to help provide aid to hurricane victims.
World Central Kitchen: Support José Andrés's ongoing efforts in Puerto Rico through his 501c(3) organization.
A few things to consider:
- You can use CharityNavigator.com to vet any organizations you're considering sending money to.
- Some employers have a donation match program; check to see if yours is one of them and if there are any additional guidelines you need to follow.
- Cash is always helpful, but many organizations also accept non-perishable food and gear.