I have the privilege of being in charge of managing the Center’s hotline, which was born in the wake of Hurricane Isaac. We created it to make sure that we are available to donors 24/7 to answer questions about which organizations are responding to a particular disaster, provide information on the nature of a disaster, inform callers about long-term recovery needs both domestically and globally, and to serve as a resource to the philanthropic community that is trying to do right by communities that have been affected by a disaster.
Here are some examples of calls I have fielded over the past few months:
What is the philanthropic community doing to support the Ebola crisis?
How are donors supporting the continued needs of Sandy affected communities?
Which organizations are working in the Philippines to support typhoon-affected villages?
Who can I call to get more information on how the U.S. government responds to disasters?
I have had the pleasure of speaking with representatives from community, corporate, institutional, and family foundations. Calls have come in from individuals seeking to make a donation (including a dear family friend of mine), and individuals representing the NGO community who are actively providing the humanitarian assistance most needed in the days, weeks, months, and years following a disaster.
I also have the privilege to speak with disaster survivors, individuals who call me to ask for financial assistance, for help in getting connected to legal services or governmental resources (such as HUD or FEMA). Speaking with survivors is emotional for me – the call I received from a single mother of a five year old girl who lost all of her photographs, camera equipment, and negatives following Sandy has remained a vivid memory. The woman I spoke with, also Sandy affected, who wanted to give away her old baby clothes to another Sandy-affected individual and needed advice on what to do. These are stories of the human spirit that inspire me to learn, do, and act more in the service of disaster-affected people.
We are at CDP invite you to call the hotline at any time – 24/7 – 206.972.0187. We are available to answer any of your philanthropic questions as they relate to disasters. What would you like to know?