The compassion and generosity of American people is never more evident than during and after a disaster. Similarly, students, staff and faculty at The University of New Mexico show that compassion and generosity in times of need.
It is individuals, non-profits, faith and community-based organizations, private sector partners, and governmental agencies working together that will most effectively and efficiently help survivors cope with the impacts of Hurricane Harvey and its aftermath.
Current UNM efforts include the acceptance and support of those students forced to leave their state. Additionally, many students, faculty, and staff have family and friends affected by this storm. Please keep this in mind when helping to accommodate their needs and provide support to them. UNM provided similar assistance to students fleeing Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Many at UNM have asked, ‘how can we help survivors from Hurricane Harvey?’ With a multitude of relief efforts underway, here’s how you can help. Please follow a few important guidelines to ensure your support is the most helpful.
Donating to relief efforts
The most effective way to support disaster survivors in their recovery is to donate money and time to trusted, reputable, voluntary or charitable organizations.
Cash donations offer voluntary agencies and faith-based organizations the most flexibility to address urgently developing needs. With cash in hand, these organizations can obtain needed resources near the disaster location. This inflow of cash also pumps money back into the local economy and helps local businesses recover faster.
Please do not donate unsolicited goods such as used clothing, miscellaneous household items, medicine, or perishable foodstuffs at this time. When used personal items are donated, the helping agencies must redirect their staff away from providing direct services to survivors in order to sort, package, transport, warehouse, and distribute items that may not meet the needs of disaster survivors.
Donate through a trusted organization. At the national level, many voluntary faith and community-based organizations are active in disasters, and are trusted avenues to donate to survivors. Individuals, corporations, and volunteers, can learn more about how to help on the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD) website.
In addition to the national organizations, the Texas Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (Texas VOAD) has a list of vetted disaster relief organizations providing services to survivors. Texas VOAD represents more than three dozen faith-based, community, nonprofit and non-governmental organizations.
If you have any questions, contact FEMA’s Intergovernmental Affairs Division at (202) 646-3444 or email, FEMA-IGA@fema.dhs.gov.