Hurricane Irma left a trail of destruction across the Caribbean and Florida. While Miami was spared from the storm’s worst impact, there is still a lot of work to be done across the Sunshine State. Feeling helpless? Here are five ways to help our fellow Floridians.
Visit Your Neighborhood Restaurant or Bar
Tons of local establishments have come up with ways to help hurricane victims. Sugar at East Miami will donate $2 from each “Irma Relief” cocktail ($16) to Feeding South Florida; Islamorada Beer Company is raising money for supplies through GoFundMe; and Mojo Donuts is collecting items for local shelters. If you’re not sure whether or not your favorite spot is raising money with certain drinks or plates, or collecting general supplies, call ahead or ask your waiter once you’re there.
Find a Local Organization
While national organizations do a ton of good, donating to a local group can be the best way to ensure you’re addressing specific communities’ needs. We love Feeding Florida, a group that works with food banks across the state, along with The Miami Foundation and the New Florida Majority, both of which work with grassroots organizations to help local communities recover and rebuild. You can also register to volunteer with Volunteer Florida.
Attend the Rooftop Relief Benefit Party
This week’s Rooftop Unplugged Series, where musicians perform a gratis concert in downtown Miami, is dedicated to Hurricane Irma relief. Donate much-needed items—including nonperishable foods, toiletries, diapers, cleaning products, flashlights and batteries—as singer-songwriter Brendan O’Hara performs. Bar proceeds from the event will benefit victims, too.
7 p.m. Thursday, September 21 at Filling Station Lofts, 1657 N. Miami Ave., Miami; 305-901-5900 or facebook.com/events
With around 6.5 million people ordered to evacuate in Florida, Airbnb is seeking out homeowners who are willing to offer free shelter to folks who have been displaced, as well as to relief workers and volunteers. Find more information here.
If you’re unable to physically volunteer or attend a relief event, the Center for International Disaster Information (CIDI) says that monetary donations are the best way to help people and support cleanup and humanitarian support efforts. Donate what you can to a legitimate charity or relief organization like UNICEF or the American Red Cross. Find organizations you can trust by checking Charity Navigator. And remember, any amount helps.