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    How concerned Nashville neighbors can help victims of Hurricane Florence


    When we see neighboring cities getting battered by storms, Nashvillians tend to look for ways to be of help — we learned during the 2010 Nashville flood just how devastating nature can be, and how healing the assistance of neighbors can be, too.

    As this post is going up, now-tropical depression Florence is still devastating parts of North and South Carolina, from power outages to flooding. And as of Monday, two dozen lives had been lost from storm-related incidents.

    If you’ve been wondering how you can contribute to relief efforts, too, we gathered a quick list of options, some set up by Nashville organizations. Whether it’s time or money you have to give, there’s lots of good we can do.


    The Music City Cares: East Coast Storms Fund

    The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, with its Music City Cares Fund, provides aid and support to communities affected by natural disasters like Florence. They’ve set up an East Coast Storms Fund designed to help victims with ongoing needs, and we can donate to those efforts directly through the CFMT website.


    The Salvation Army

    The Salvation Army is on the ground, directly helping people in Florence’s path. And if you opt to donate to The Salvation Army of the Carolinas, you can see just how your funds will be used, and how far they’ll go to help folks.


    The Red Cross

    The American National Red Cross quickly deployed more than 1,500 disaster workers to help with Florence relief efforts. You can contribute toward that work through redcross.org.

    Beyond financial donations, the need for donated blood is high in the wake of the storm — the weather forced blood drives all across the Southeast to be cancelled, which negatively impacted the much-needed blood supply.

    There are blood drives happening all around Nashville in the coming days — you can find one near you/that fits your schedule through redcrossblood.org.


    Local animal advocacy organizations and shelters

    Whole families are affected in crises like this, including pets. And as animals are being displaced, Nashville-area shelters and rescue organizations are stepping up to help. Among them: Big Fluffy Dog Rescue in Nashville and Williamson County Animal Center in Franklin. Helping those local animal organizations, either with donations or offers to foster or adopt, lets them continue to assist folks in need.


    National VOAD

    If you don’t have funds to give but you do have skills to share or time to commit, there are opportunities to volunteer too. But volunteer organizations ask that folks who want to help don’t “self-deploy,” and instead go through a group that can direct them to where there are unmet needs. The National VOAD, or Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster, can help you help Florence victims.


    Habitat for Humanity

    As Nashvillians know all too well, even after the immediate disaster passes, the rebuilding and restoration process will be long and hard. Habitat for Humanity is already developing a recovery plan, and you can donate to that response and/or register as a volunteer through habitat.org.


    We hope these links were helpful if you’re looking to pitch in. If there are other positive ways to help our neighbors in the Carolinas that you’d like to share, please comment, or reach out to ACRE here.

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