Monday, September 17, 2018

Here's how you can help those affected by Florence across the Carolinas

Donate wisely

Posted by Adam Manno on Mon, Sep 17, 2018 at 1:49 PM


The death toll from Florence is now 18 as the tropical depression edges out of the Carolinas.

Roads leading to Wilmington, N.C. are still flooded, rivers are rising, and rescue efforts are still underway for those caught under the record rainfall (30 inches of rain fell over Swansboro, N.C., beating the record of 24.06 inches set by Hurricane Floyd in 1999).

On Monday, rescue workers recovered the body of a one-year-old boy whose mother lost him in a current of floodwater while driving away from the storm in Union County, near the S.C. border, according to The State. The storm has claimed six lives in S.C., according to The Post & Courier.

Here are just a few ways you can help our friends further north:
  • The crowdfunding website GoFundMe has created a centralized website for all campaigns related to Florence, from an effort to raise money for animal shelters in the Upstate to a campaign for a North Carolina man to visit his ailing father in Illinois.
  • The state of North Carolina is accepting contributions through the governor's office that "will help with immediate unmet needs of Hurricane Florence victims." You can donate online at governor.nc.gov or text "Florence" to 20222.
  • The Columbia-based Central Carolina Community Foundation is raising money for victims through the One SC Fund, announced in part by former Gov. Nikki Haley after the 1,000-year flood in 2015. It provides grants to nonprofits to fund relief and recovery efforts after state-declared emergencies. Find out more info about the fund and donate online through the CCCF.
  • United Way has set up a Hurricane Florence Recovery Fund to help local chapters "meet the storm-related needs and support mid- and long-term recovery efforts throughout the affected regions." You can donate online or by calling United Way's 2-1-1 help line.
  • Until Fri. Sept. 21, the Mt. Pleasant Police Department is collecting bottled water, non-perishable food items, cleaning supplies, and personal hygiene products to be distributed to "areas across South Carolina most affected by Hurricane Florence." Items can be dropped off at the police department's headquarters at 100 Ann Edwards Lane.
  • The mayors of Charleston, Folly Beach, Goose Creek, Isle of Palms, North Charleston, Mt. Pleasant and Summerville announced the Lowcountry Mayors' Disaster Relief Fund at a press conference Tuesday. You can contribute by visiting the Coastal Community Foundation's website and specifying Lowcountry Mayors' Disaster Relief Fund in the comments section.

The office of S.C. Secretary of State Mark Hammond is urging those who wish to help not to give out any personal or financial information over the phone and to research any potential charities or organizations on the Sec. of State's website. (You can also verify charities via the website Charity Navigator or the Better Business Bureau's Wise Giving Alliance.)

"With crowdfunding sites and social media, it has become far too easy for scammers to deceive the generous and well-intentioned," Hammond said in a statement. "Consider limiting your donations to organizations with a long track record of transparency and accountability, and that have the infrastructure to make sure your donations get to those who need it most."

The New York Times published a comprehensive list of organizations to donate to in the aftermath of Florence.

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