Even though Hurricane Lane was downgraded to a Category 1 storm on Friday, Aug. 24, the people of Hawaii aren't in the clear just yet. The residents of the Aloha state still need your help. If you're wondering how you can make a difference, here's how to help Hurricane Lane recovery efforts with donations. The scene across the Hawaiian islands is still unsettling: flash flooding and brush fires have caused widespread damage to the islands, and approximately 2,000 residents have evacuated to shelters until the storm calms down, according to the Associate Press.
During a press conference on Friday, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said that while the state had "dodged a bullet" with the storm weakening as it moved past the main Hawaiian islands, that "doesn't mean it's over." According to the Huffington Post, Hurricane Lane has dumped three feet of water on the islands, which — paired with rampant brush fires — has caused many residents to flee from their houses.
Many homes have been flooded, businesses have been shut down, and strong winds up to 70 mph have caused brush fires to rapidly spread and destroy thousands of acres of land, according to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. With a risk of landslides and further flooding expected across the Big Island, Maui, and Oahu, it's a difficult time for the island dwellers — and they welcome any help rebuilding after the disaster.
One option to help with hurricane relief is to donate to the American Red Cross.
According to its website, local Hawaiian Red Cross volunteers are helping out at evacuation centers along with a team of almost 200 "trained disaster workers." To help shelters supply evacuees with essential items like water, food, bedding, and baby supplies, you can help by going to redcross.org, making a call to 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word LANE to 90999.
To ensure that your donation goes to people who have been displaced by Hurricane Lane, simply select that option when making your donation online or on the phone. If you're sending a check, Red Cross recommends specifying the disaster name in the memo space. On its website, the Red Cross recommends that you fill out the donation form found on redcross.org, and send it in with your check.
Another option is to donate to the Salvation Army, which specifies on its website that 100 percent of your money will go to victims of the disaster.
When you make your gift, you have the option to ask your employer to match the amount or dedicate your donation to the memory of someone. Like with the Red Cross, you can donate by phone by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY, or by mail by sending your check, designated to “Hawaii Hurricane,” to: The Salvation Army PO Box 620 Honolulu, HI 96809.
If you want to know exactly where your money is going, Uplifting Hearts of America specifies that any donations from you will add to funds for food, water, clothes, emotional support, emergency shelter, and transportation for the residents. You can donate really easily via their website, or you can call 800-341-4101. According to its website, Uplifting Hearts began as a response to Hurricane Harvey, which made landfall in Houston, Texas one year ago on Aug. 25, 2017.
As always, all donations can be written off on your taxes. All three organizations emphasize that displaced residents are in need of immediate assistance right now. So, look through the nonprofits to determine which one is the best fit for you to give what you can in this time of need.