The recent violent tornadoes in the United States and a powerful earthquake and tsunami in Japan have killed many people, displaced countless others, and devastated entire communities.
As many now struggle with the aftermath of these natural disasters and try to rebuild their lives, KidsHealth has looked for ways that families can help.
Make a Donation
These charitable organizations provide assistance to people affected by crises and natural disasters; most accept donations.
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- American Red Cross (ARC)
- Doctors Without Borders
- International Rescue Committee
- Mercy Corps
- Partners in Health
It's OK if your family doesn't have a lot to give. Every donation, regardless of size, helps to rebuild communities that are hit by natural disasters.
Lend a Hand
While monetary donations are always appreciated, they're not the only way that families can get involved. Here are some active ways that you and your kids can help out:
- Donate clothes, food, or other items. Check with your local ARC chapter, community center (like the YMCA), or place of worship to find out whether you can drop off donations or if there's another way your family can contribute. You might suggest donating your time to help sort through donations and/or delivering goods to families affected by the disaster.
- Organize a fundraiser. Perhaps you could help your place of worship or local school organize a fundraiser to collect money or supplies for disaster victims. For a donation drive, ask the organization you'd like to donate to whether it needs the items you plan to send. Sometimes, charities get too many donations and have to spend money storing or handling the excess items.
- Organize a community event. Talk to your place of worship, child's school, or community center about organizing a walk, run, bake sale, or other activity to raise money.
If your family isn't able to help out right now, consider contributing in the coming weeks or months. With the degree of damage in disaster-struck areas, the need for donations and funds will be ongoing and your family's contribution will be appreciated just as much in the future.
Why It Matters
Volunteering your time, money, or efforts not only helps the community, but also sets a good example for your kids. And helping others, especially collectively as a family, can be one of the most fun and rewarding experiences parents and children can share.
Get more tips on how to rally together as a family to really make a difference in the lives of others.
Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD
Date reviewed: April 2011
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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