Charleston, W.Va.– In the face of disaster, the people of West Virginia have come together with courage and compassion to ask “How can I help?”
The main needs now are cash donations and volunteers.
Although there has been an outpouring of financial support already to help flood survivors more is needed. Cash donations enable nonprofit organizations to purchase what disaster survivors need most. Buying the items from local businesses helps the economy recover. No gift is too small.
West Virginians and people from throughout the nation have donated thousands of hours of labor to help the many affected folks who are elderly, disabled, living on fixed incomes or otherwise overwhelmed by the flood’s after effects. But more volunteers are needed.
There are many organizations that need donations and are looking for volunteers and at least two comprehensive groups focused on West Virginia flood recovery. The West Virginia Chapter of National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (WVVOAD) represents dozens of faith-based, community, nonprofit and non-governmental organizations active in flood response and recovery. wvflood is a new website updated by Volunteer West Virginia, the state’s Commission for National and Community Service, in partnership with WV VOAD with the support of the Office of Governor Earl Ray Tomblin. Anyone who can make a cash donation or volunteer may do so at the WVVOAD or wvflood websites.
Unfortunately, disasters tend to attract con artists who will take advantage of well meaning people. Donate to legitimate national or local organizations. Beware of solicitations to help survivors from people or groups who may sound sincere but you haven’t verified. If you are unsure or uncomfortable about the intentions of anyone you encounter, please contact local law enforcement. If you suspect fraud please call the West Virginia consumer protection hotline 800-368-8808.
Finally, be ready to stick around for the long haul. The work of recovery lasts a lot longer than the media attention. There will be a need for donations and volunteers to help West Virginia recover for many months, even years, to come.
Even if you’re not ready to take any action at this time, you may find recovery information and survivors can find out about and ask for assistance by visiting either of the websites: