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Disaster Volunteering

Donate and Serve Wisely to Help Disaster Victims

The State of Maryland encourages everyone to contribute wisely towards disaster recovery efforts. Consider the following before you donate goods, money, or your time:

  • Financial contributions are preferred.
  • Cash donations help to avoid the labor and expense of sorting, packing, transporting, and distributing donated goods, and voluntary relief agencies use cash to meet victims' specific needs more quickly.
  • Donate through an experienced organization.
  • Relief agencies prefer the versatility of cash donations; however some have the infrastructure in place to store and distribute donated goods. To prevent waste, donations of goods should be made only to agencies that have requested specific items.
  • Donors should be wary of anyone who claims that "everything" is needed. Many groups have been disappointed that their efforts and the goods they collected were not appreciated. A community hit by disaster, however, does not have the time, manpower, or money to dispose of unneeded donations. Get precise information before collecting any donated goods.
  • In a community struggling to respond to and recover from a disaster, an influx of unexpected or unneeded voluteers and donations can make the process even more difficult. Before traveling to the disaster area to help, learn where and when your skills will be needed. Discuss with volunteer organizers how your needs for food, water and shelter will be met while you are volunteering.

Private and Nonprofit Agencies Active in Disaster Relief

Adventist Community Services
800-381-7171
www.communityservices.org

American Red Cross
800-HELP-NOW
www.redcross.org

Catholic Charities USA
800-919-9338
www.catholiccharitiesusa.org

Christian Contractors Association
800-278-7703
www.ccaministry.org

Christian Disaster Response
863-964-HELP
www.cdresponse.org

Church of Brethren Disaster Response
800-451-4407
www.brethren.org

Church World Service
800-297-1516
www.churchworldservice.org

Baptist Convention of Maryland and Delaware
800-466-5290
www.yourbcmd.org

Feeding America (formerly named America's Second Harvest)
800-771-2303
www.feedingamerica.org

The Humane Society of the United States - Disaster Services
888-259-5431
www.hsus.org/hsus_field/hsus_disaster_center

Lutheran Disaster Response
800-638-3522
www.elca.org/disaster

Mennonite Disaster Services
7171-859-2210
www.mds.mennonite.net

National Organization for Victim Assistance
800-TRY-NOVA
www.trynova.org

National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster
703-778-5088
www.nvoad.org

Nazarene Disaster Response
800-306-9950
www.nazarene.org/ministries/superintendents/statements/relief/display.aspx

Operation Blessing International
757-226-3401
www.ob.org

Presbyterian Church (USA)
800-872-3283
www.pcusa.org

The Salvation Army
703-684-5500
www.salvationarmy.org

United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR)
800-554-8583
http://new.gbgm-umc.org/umcor