Charities responding to wildfires & other recent disasters

Sep 02, 2020

Recent weeks have brought a variety of natural disasters to regions across the United States. Impacts have been felt acutely in the Western U.S., where wildfires still rage, in the Midwest, where a powerful derecho struck, and in Louisiana, where Category 4 Hurricane Laura made landfall. 


In partnership with Charity Navigator, we are providing a list of highly rated organizations that are supporting relief efforts in all three locations. These lists are not exhaustive. We have expedited the granting process so your contribution can be put to use as quickly as possible. More information is located below the three tables. 


Western Wildfires


The West has had its share of devastating wildfires over the years, and the summer season of 2020 has been extraordinary. At least seven people have lost their lives, and hundreds of homes and vehicles have been destroyed. Millions of acres have been burned, 100,000 residents have been forced to evacuate, and thousands of buildings are being threatened.


Charity NameEINAreas of support
Direct Relief95-1831116

During fire responses, Direct Relief provides N-95 masks, medicine, and other resources to healthcare agencies and first responders in wildfire-affected communities across California.



This fund will support firefighters and provide emergency supplies like food, water, and medicine to people in need. The fund will remain open to provide long-term assistance, focused exclusively on support for communities impacted by wildfires.

Operation USA95-3504080Where possible, Operation USA will deliver in-kind material aid for families who are displaced to shelters. As funds allow, the organization will also make cash grants to community-based organizations supporting families and youths in impacted communities.
Matthew 25: Ministries31-1348100Matthew 25: Ministries is responding with truckloads of aid to partners in California. Supplies include personal care items, cleaning supplies, laundry detergent, baby supplies, batteries, and more.


Hurricane Laura


Hurricane Laura hit southwestern Louisiana as one of the most powerful hurricanes to ever pass through the Gulf of Mexico. At least 14 individuals were confirmed dead. Homes and buildings were destroyed, and in some places, power may not be restored for weeks. Access to fresh drinking water continues to pose a problem.


Charity NameEINAreas of support


This disaster relief fund will provide food, water, medicine and shelter to people impacted by Hurricane Laura. The fund will remain open to provide long-term assistance as needed and will exclusively support communities and first responders impacted by Hurricane Laura.

Heart to Heart International48-1108359

Heart to Heart International is managing a mobile medical unit in Lake Charles and providing hygiene and blanket kits to affected residents. 

Direct Relief95-1831116In addition to medical aid shipments and hurricane preparedness packs, Direct Relief has also been providing information and disaster response insights to local and regional governments and emergency responders.
Family Promise52-1591461      Donations will support Family Promise Affiliates in the Gulf region as they work to provide shelter, prevention, and stabilization services to families experiencing homelessness during and after these storms.
SBP26-2189665SBP takes a holistic approach to disaster recovery, increasing resilience before and streamlining recovery after a disaster to help homeowners, businesses, policymakers, and nonprofits.  
Center for Disaster Philanthropy45-5257937Center for Disaster Philanthropy identifies specific recovery needs and funding gaps in each community and then explores investing in all geographic areas affected by this season’s Atlantic hurricanes.
All Hands and Hearts20-3414952All Hands and Hearts is assessing need and managing cleanup in the immediate aftermath of the storm. In the long-term, the organization will work with local leaders to build safer, more resilient infrastructure. 
Children's Hunger Fund95-4335462Children's Hunger Fund is sending food and essential aid to affected families. The organization is working through its network of corporate relationships and its Mercy Network churches.
Convoy of Hope68-0051386Convoy of Hope’s Disaster Services team is passing out food, water, and cleanup supplies from a point of distribution. Door-to-door distribution will start as soon as affected neighborhoods become accessible.


Midwest Derecho


Early on Monday, August 10, 2020, a series of powerful thunderstorms known as a derecho swept across the Midwest, beginning first in southeastern South Dakota and moving east to Iowa and then the southern Great Lakes region. As defined by the National Weather Service, a derecho is a wide-spread, long-lived windstorm, usually accompanied by rain and thunderstorms, and can often carry the strength of a tornado.


Damage from the derecho has been recorded across the Midwest region including South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio, with the greatest impact in Iowa and northern Illinois where the highest wind speeds took place. The storm left millions without power, destroyed homes and properties, yielded significant damage to crops in the region, and several lives were lost.


Charity NameEINAreas of support
American Red Cross


In Iowa and Illinois, Red Cross disaster workers are working virtually and in-person to provide shelter, food, financial assistance, and comfort to those hit hardest by the derecho. 

Matthew 25: Ministries31-1348100

Matthew 25: Ministries has shipped a truckload of aid to Iowa, including products such as shampoo, conditioner, personal care items, diapers and wipes, detergent, and batteries.

Good36054-1282616Good360 is ready with needed goods for all stages of the recovery process and is prepared to deploy those goods via its trusted nonprofit and response agency partners who are on the ground in the states that were affected by the storm.


How to help locally

To support local relief efforts, consider recommending a grant to a community foundation. These organizations often have extensive insight into the most urgent local needs and can often react quickly to emergenciesCheck out this community foundation locator to find one located in an affected area. 


To support these charities or others:

Log in to your online account by clicking the Login button in the upper right corner. Select Grant in the navigation menu at the top of the page and select Recommend a grant in the dropdown.


If the organization is not in your saved charities’ list, type the charity name, region, or interest area in the search bar under Find a charity. Click the magnifying glass to begin the search and then scroll down to see your search results. Charities will appear in a list below. Once found, save the charity by clicking on the star and then click select to begin the granting process. 


You will be asked to select a grant purpose in the first step of the process. Select Disaster Relief: Hurricane Laura, Disaster Relief: Midwest Derecho Storm, or Disaster Relief: Western Wildfires. If you want to donate to a specific cause or affected area, indicate so in the space provided.


If you do not have access to your online account, you can register by selecting the Login button in the upper right-hand corner. Follow the prompts to register for online access. 


The nonprofit community's response will be ongoing, and as such, these lists are not meant to be exhaustive.

1Fees may apply 

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