How Youth Can Help in Disasters

As a Houstonian, watching my city go underwater during Hurricane Harvey has been terrifying.
However, I am so so proud of all the volunteers that have come to help, both from inside and
outside the city. In many places, there were so many volunteers that local organizations had to
turn people away due to overcapacity.

This willingness to help is something I’ve always known
defined Houston, and it was amazing to see it in action.

As a youth volunteer there’s a couple ways you can get involved. Whether a disaster is happening
across the country or in your background, you can make a difference. Here’s just a couple of
examples of what you can do:

With every natural disaster, the Red Cross hosts a fundraising page that allows you to donate
directly to the people affected by the disaster. You and your Red Cross club can organize
fundraisers with this specific goal in mind. A couple of fundraising ideas include thons, field
days, garage sales, and more. Here’s an activity guide with some fleshed out examples.
Contact your local volunteer manager to help. Even if you’re from elsewhere in the country, you
can still help remotely such as on the call desk. If you’re from the local area, you could be
staffed directly in shelters. Your volunteer manager will be able to point you to which
opportunities are available given the disaster needs and your availability.
Educate your club with preparedness presentations and share them with your community, so that
next time a disaster hits, people will know how to be safe. Natural disasters are usually not
preventable, and sometimes they appear out of nowhere in the span of days, like Hurricane
Harvey. However, pre-emptive measures like drills and having an escape plan is something that
can only make your community stronger.
Check out some guides on disaster preparedness here.

– Amy Ma, National Youth Council member from Houston, Navin Narayan College Scholarship Liaison

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Volunteer Connection

Volunteer Connection