HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) – Hurricane Ian’s devastated path has inundated communities from Florida to the Carolinas since it started its deadly sweep last week along the southeast coast.
Remnants of the storm on Monday continued to threaten the Virginia coastline with flooding.
Following the widespread devastation, organizations are responding to the affected areas in order to help with recovery. Here are some of the ways Rio Grande Valley residents can help.
The American Red Cross
“The American Red Cross is working tirelessly to help people devastated by Hurricane Ian,” the organization announced Monday. “Many communities are unrecognizable after the storm and volunteers from all 50 states and the District of Columbia are helping those affected and will be helping them recover for weeks and months to come.”
The Texas Gulf Coast Region, which includes the Rio Grande Valley, has deployed 28 volunteers as of Monday morning and several more are on standby, officials said.
To make a donation, visit redcross.org, call 1-800-RED-CROSS, or text the word IAN to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
“Your gift is a commitment to helping people in need, and every single donation matters,” American Red Cross officials said.
“People’s lives were turned upside down by this massive storm,” said Vanessa Valdez, regional communications manager. “They need your help now. Please consider making a donation to help people affected by disasters, giving blood or becoming a Red Cross volunteer today.”
The Red Cross is providing a safe place to stay, food to eat and a shoulder to lean on as people begin to pick up the pieces after the storm. Shelters are open across the affected areas, and Red Cross emergency vehicles are delivering food and relief supplies. Volunteers are helping families cope and replacing prescription medications, eyeglasses or critical medical equipment like canes and wheelchairs.
If you have the time, you can make a significant impact as a Red Cross volunteer. Review the most urgently needed volunteer positions at redcross.org/volunteertoday.
Blood donations can help
People in the Rio Grande Valley — especially those with type O blood — are urged to give blood now to help ensure patients in impacted areas continue to have access to lifesaving blood, according to the American Red Cross.
Donate at Firehouse Subs in the Valley
On Tuesday, Oct. 4, Firehouse Subs restaurants – including four locations across McAllen, Edinburg and Harlingen – are raising money to help Hurricane Ian victims across the southeast.
“Firehouse Subs guests can simply donate within their local restaurant,” the restaurant chain announced Monday. “All funds collected on Tuesday will benefit the Foundation’s Disaster Relief Fund, which aims to deliver food and support for disaster relief and recovery efforts, as well as equipment grant requests from area organizations and relief agencies.”
Already, the restaurant company has provided a $25,000 donation from the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation to the American Red Cross to respond to the storm.
“Founded 17 years ago in the catastrophic aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation has a storied history of supporting communities and first responders,” the restaurant said. “To date, the Foundation has awarded over $151,000 across the Valley alone.”
Let ValleyCentral know about other efforts to help