The latest edition of Homeland Security Today has an article titled ‘Taking Philanthropy Beyond the Days of Disaster’ , which talks about the need that non-profit organizations who provide disaster services have before and well after a disaster. Their programs help bring preparedness and other critical services into neighborhoods and to fragile and disadvantaged populations. The article tells the story of someone who saw this need and formed the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, a foundation centered on helping organizations fund disaster-oriented projects throughout the year. You also have the choice of giving directly to organizations in your community. Organizations like the Red Cross, The Salvation Army, and others – that are in every community – provide services year-round and could greatly benefit from your continued help. Being a philanthropist doesn’t require you to be a millionaire – even contributing ten or twenty dollars during a fund-raiser or dropping a few dollars or some spare change into a kettle makes a huge difference.
Beyond philanthropy, you should also consider volunteering in your community. Every organization needs more people – and not just during disasters – to meet the needs of those they help – and ANYONE can volunteer, it’s just a matter of finding the right organization and the right role for you. Jobs can be as diverse as office assistance to disaster response. Some positions require training, which the organization will provide. Every organization will help find the position that is right for you. Organizations are even happy to have entire families volunteer! Martin Luther King, Jr. Day – January 21st – has also been designated as National Volunteer Day. Through their website you can find volunteer opportunities (also check volunteermatch.org) as well as volunteer fairs that will be held around the nation on January 21st. If you have interest in a particular organization, just give them a call and let them know you would like to volunteer.
Whether of yourself or of your wallet, please consider giving – it makes a world of difference.