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Holiday Giving: Helping Victims of Natural Disasters

Donation jar for Mount Pleasant

Like many others, a week or so ago I was happy to sit down with my family on Thanksgiving and really just take in how lucky we are and how much I have to be thankful for. I have a lovely family, a comfortable home to help keep us safe and warm, and my own pediatric dental practice in Mount Pleasant. Needless to say, I have a lot that I am grateful for.

Thinking about being thankful, there really isn’t a better time of year than the holidays to donate your time, money, or other items to those in need. It is the season for giving, after all, and right now, many people could use a little extra help. Donations usually pour in immediately following a disaster, but dry up quickly, as recovery usually has a long timeline until completed.

Americans have short attention spans in today’s modern age, so it’s easy to forget that 2017 saw a lot of tragedy, leaving many victims in its wake. There were hurricanes in Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico as the West was faced a fury of fire. While the worst is behind us (for now), many still struggle as they attempt to rebuild.

It’s not too late to donate

In most cases, monetary donations are the most useful because of the flexibility of the money to be used to purchase exactly what is needed, when it’s needed.

Like you, I like to know that my contributions and donations make it into the right hands (with as little corporate loss as possible), so all of the below organizations have been vetted. If you’d like to see the details yourself, I recommend Charity Navigator to help you give wisely.

Direct Relief

Direct Relief is regarded as a number one charity  on Charity Navigator. They are completely funded with personal donations, and that generosity has enabled them to deliver life-saving medical aid during the devastation of the hurricanes.

That included more than 70,000 pounds of medicines, medical equipment, antiseptics, and disinfectants, as well as personal hygiene products. This year, Direct Relief has delivered more than $850 million dollars of medication and vaccines, and they are providing aid to both hurricane and fire victims.

The Child Foundation

The Child Foundation is providing basic necessities and education to children that have been impacted by Hurricane Harvey. They aim to be child advocates, keeping them safe and keeping them in school. Historically, much of their goal has been to protect children that have been displaced or disadvantaged by war in the Middle East and Asia, though this year their efforts have been closer to home.

Habitat for Horses

Habitat for Horses has spent years promoting the safety, well being, and health of horses. They help owners who struggle to provide a good home for a horse, or rehabilitate and relocate horses that suffer. Based out of Texas, they’ve been busy trying to save animals whose homes have been destroyed, food supply lost, or in need of sanctuary. There are many ways that you can help Habitat for Horses in their mission, including purchasing their coffee table book “The Horse at Home” as a gift for a family member.

Helping Hand for Relief and Development

Millions have been affected by the destruction caused by hurricanes Irma and Maria, from Florida and Georgia to Puerto Rico and the Bahamas. Helping Hand has an impeccable reputation and a 98% rating on Charity Navigator. They have helped provide food, clothing, and medical care to hurricane victims, and are working on home construction, infrastructure development, and orphan/widow support.

Water Mission

After disaster strikes, the loss of basic services can be as dangerous as the disaster itself. Water Mission is a nonprofit Christian organization that builds safe water, sanitation, and hygiene solutions for people in disaster areas. Water Mission has been rated in the top one percent of charities by Charity Navigator eleven years in a row, and they are headquartered in nearby Charleston.

We LOVE the work and help the Water Mission provides to those in need!

The above are just a few ways you can help give back to those in need this holiday season. If you know of a worthy cause or charity we may have missed, let us know! The more information we can help to share and the more donations we can help to make, the greater the impact we’ll have on those in need.

Happy Holidays, everyone!


Dr. Randy