How to Help

      *Make a Cash Donation

      Make a cash contribution to an organization that is responding. Using cash donations, responders can acquire exactly the goods and services that disaster-stricken farmers need at the right time. Those needs can change quickly as recovery progresses. Click on the headline above to see a list of disaster response organizations that will put your donation to good use.


      Volunteer to repair fences, clean up farms, rebuild homes -- or just listen to a farmer during a home visit. Click on the headline above to learn where volunteers are needed. As with donations, it is important to send the right volunteers at the right time. Sometimes people with particular skills are in demand -- carpenters to frame a barn, or social workers to offer trauma counseling, for example. Or specific tools may be needed -- post-hole diggers to repair miles of downed fencing. But often unskilled volunteers are needed just as much. They can be paired with skilled volunteers who teach them what they need to know. The key is to coordinate your volunteerism through a responding group. That way your skills and your time will be used in ways that help the most.

      *Donate Materials

      Donate fencing materials, building materials, tools, or equipment. Depending on the type of disaster, farmers may need materials and tools to rebuild. Click on the headline above to contact a responding group to find out specifically what's needed.

      *Donate Hay or Grain

      In the wake of disaster, farmers often face hay and feed shortages. Sometimes, donations of hay, feed and transportation costs are welcomed. Contact an organization in your area that is coordinating "hay lifts" or watch for news of such efforts on the Clearinghouse's news page. In addition, you may want to contact Mennonite Disaster Services to make hay donations, or the Foods Resource Bank to provide grain donations.

      *Avoid Inappropriate Donations

      Did you know that well-intentioned but inappropriate donations could create a 'second disaster' for farmers and for the people helping them? For example, donated clothing is almost never needed. Often there is no storage space. In addition, sorting piles of used clothing monopolizes the time of volunteers who could be tending to more urgent needs. Finally, confronting piles of inappropriate donations can increase the frustration of farm families as they try to figure out how to meet their more pressing needs.

      *Join the Farm Disaster ResourceNet.

      The Farm Disaster ResourceNet is funded by a number of nonprofit and faith-based organizations and individuals. Additional support from nonprofit organizations and corporations are always welcomed. By clicking on the headline above, you can learn about ways to help the Farm Disaster ResourceNet make a difference.


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