How Can I Help Iowans Who Need It Right Now?
Editor's Note: This post will be updated regularly.
As of Friday, Aug. 14, Gov. Kim Reynolds had issued disaster declarations for 27 Iowa counties in the wake of the rare derecho storm that damaged homes and crops across the state on Monday, Aug. 10.
According to IPR's Kate Payne, many organizations working to help Iowans are asking for financial support at this time. Some towns are posting about the need for volunteers and supplies to local Facebook pages or groups. Search and check for those for your area.
If you want to help refugees and immigrants living in Iowa
EMBARC offers resources and supplies for refugees in need in Iowa. After the derecho that hit the state last week, some refugees who have relocated to Iowa for opportunities in the meat packing industry are living in the rubble of their former homes. EMBARC is working to provide translation services and case management. Donate here.
The Catherine McAuley Center is asking for monetary donations. They are coordinating food aid as well as the distribution of personal hygiene supplies to where they are needed most among refugee and immigrant communities in Cedar Rapids. Donate here.
If you can donate money or supplies
Be aware of scammers and unvetted organizations asking for direct donations.
Iowa in crisis from #derecho2020, Cedar Rapids is apocalyptic. People can't call 911. Losing food and medicine. Heroes on the ground need help.— Rob Sand (@RobSandIA) August 13, 2020
Please RT & Give
time & muscle:https://t.co/SzXm4OaDks
-generators & solar panels
Iowa Derecho Storm Resource Page Facebook Group
The Iowa Giving Crew, a 501c3 not-for-profit, has partnered with the organizers of the Iowa Derecho Storm Resource Page group on Facebook to raise money and solicit donations for storm relief in Cedar Rapids. The group was created in response to the derecho storm that devastated the state last week. As of Tuesday, the group has grown to more than 54,000 people and has raised more than $76,000. All last week, the group was soliciting financial donations via Venmo and Pay Pal accounts.
As of Tuesday, Aug. 18, the group was asking for donations of the following supplies to be delivered to 5001 1st Ave SE 106A, Cedar Rapids, IA 52403:
1. Volunteers (All day, especially Late afternoon/evening)
4. Flashlights/Solar Powered Lights
5. Battery Operated Lanterns
6. Non-perishable Food Items
7. Extension Cords
8. Toiletries (body wash, hand soap, shampoo/conditioner, hand sanitizer, deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste)
9. Pre-made Meals/Sandwiches
10. Large Trash Bags
11. Paper Towels
13. Canned Meat
14. Cleaning Supplies
Donations may be be dropped off and supplies can be picked up from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
According to State Rep. Liz Bennett (D), Advocates for Social Justice in Cedar Rapids mobilized quickly in the area and have been providing support for various storm-related tasks. Bennett says they are accepting Venmo donations @ASJBLM.
If you can donate a generator
Matthew 25 is accepting monetary donations to buy generators for residents that are still without power. They are also taking donations of like-new, suitcase sized generators. Visit their donation page to learn more.
If you can volunteer and donate time
If you are able-bodied and want to volunteer to help cleanup and recovery efforts, the United Way of East Central Iowa is organizing helpers. Find more information here.
If you want to help recovery efforts in Linn County, you can sign up in-person at Linn County Emergency Management at 6301 Kirkwood Blvd SW. They are open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sign up to volunteer online at http://uweci.org/volunteernow. Call to volunteer, or request volunteer help by calling (224) 406-1366.
If you want to help recovery efforts in Jasper county, the United Way of Jasper County alongside several of the community's churches and the Jasper County Emergency Management Agency, are organizing volunteers to help people in need this week. If you are able to help they have a staging area at Aurora Park in Newton and work assignments for volunteers. Report time is 8 a.m. each day this week. The list they are working with is of individuals who are disabled or elderly or have another barrier to being able to clean up their storm damage. Right now they are focusing on fallen debris and getting it cut and to the curb. They do have some specific tasks that need rakes, chainsaws and muscles.