This summer has seen a significant number of devastating weather disasters affect much of our world. Many areas are popular vacation destinations for many of us in the colder climes. Our hearts go out to all those who suffer or have loved ones who have been affected by hurricanes, earthquakes, forest fires that are still causing destruction. I have received several questions from clients and others about the impact of the recent hurricanes on travel and tourism to the southern United States and the Caribbean. So many want to help but aren’t sure how. So, instead of using this month’s space to talk about how to travel, I thought we could discuss how to help.
Now, there are many, many great organizations which provide emergency assistance to those in need. You know some of them: the American Red Cross (www.redcross.org/Disaster-Relief); the Salvation Army (www.give.salvationarmyusa.org/); UNICEF (https://www.unicefusa.org/); the United Way (https://www.unitedwayhouston.org/flood/flood-donation/); and, Habitat For Humanity (https://www.habitat.org/impact/our-work/disaster-response/hurricanes/2017). . These agencies have existed for decades, and are well known for the great service they provide to the nation and the world.
There are also other organizations, some of which aren’t so well known for humanitarian aid, or which were only recently established to support relief efforts in a particular emergency. They are still very reputable and provide additional opportunities for people everywhere to get involved and lend a hand. They include:: The Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association (www.tourismcares.org); United For Puerto created by the First Lady of Puerto Rico, Beatriz Rosselló, in collaboration with the private sector (http://unidosporpuertorico.com/en/); Convoy of Hope, a faith-based initiative that provides food, water, and other supplies (https://www.convoyofhope.org/donate/hurricane-maria-response-2017/); the SPCA which organizes pet evacuation and more (https://spca.org/give); and, Hand In Hand, the entertainment industry’s hurricane relief telethon that aired on September 12, 2017, is still accepting donations (https://handinhand2017.com/). Then there are crowdfunding websites like GoFundMe which maintains a list of verified aid campaigns (https://www.gofundme.com/raise-funds/hurricanemaria); and, GlobalGiving which connects donors to non-profit organizations around the world (https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/hurricane-maria-caribbean-relief-fund/).
Now, I’m no expert, and cannot say that I have personally vetted each organization listed. So, I suggest doing your research and check for yourself. But, I can say that each organization has (or is linked to a larger one that has) a notable and reputable presence in our business, entertainment, educational, and philanthropic communities. Regardless of how you choose to be of service, we at Star 1 Vacations encourage you to do whatever you can to provide support. No matter the amount you give, the benefits will be priceless to those in need, wherever they are.
~ The Travel Diva loves helping others experience world travel that engages, empowers, enlightens, and entertains. Contact her at (313)808-8018 or firstname.lastname@example.org.