(Surfside, Fla.) In the wake of the unexpected collapse of the Champlain Towers South building in Surfside, the victims and their families have been flooded with donations and acts of kindness. Still, the tragedy may have a lasting impact in the community. As of Friday, the bodies of 64 victims had been recovered from the site and 76 people are still potentially unaccounted for. And, while nothing compares to the loss of life, the Surfside collapse is affecting far more people than the ones who were at the building.
Just last week, hundreds of residents were ordered to evacuate an aging condo complex in North Miami Beach over concerns about its structural integrity. These displaced families are now scrambling to find shelter. Surfside businesses who rushed to help after the collapse are now struggling to stay afloat.
Here are some ways you can help the Surfside collapse victims and the community:
Donate money or personal care items
- The American Red Cross is helping displaced residents find safe places. The group is also offering emotional and spiritual support to the survivors.
“We are asking people to not send items like stuffed animals, blankets, clothing and household goods — as it takes time and money to store, sort, clean and distribute these items, which diverts limited resources away from helping those most affected,” the American Red Cross said in a news release.
- GoFundMe launched a centralized hub identifying all verified fundraisers. Click here to donate.
- The Shul of Bal Harbour — in collaboration with EZS Events — organized a central fund to aid the residents of the collapsed condo tower.
- Food Rescue US is partnering with restaurants to provide meals to displaced people who are staying in hotels. The organization also is working to feed first responders, and it set up a fundraising campaign.
- José Andrés’s World Central Kitchen has served meals to displaced families in Surfside and to emergency responders.
“Right now, the estimate is that emergency crews will be on-site for at least a month, so we will continue to ensure they have delicious, filling meals to help them continue,” World Central Kitchen’s website reads. The organization accepts donations year-round for its humanitarian work around the world.
Support emotional wellness
- Jewish Community Services of South Florida (JCS) and Greater Miami Jewish Federation are accepting donations to help provide spiritual support and crisis counseling.
- The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services, which has an open-ended donation drive, is responding to the collapse on the ground by securing transportation for families and feeding first responders.
- The Greater Miami Jewish Federation, Jewish Community Services of South Florida and Mishkan Miami established an emergency assistance fund to provide financial assistance, chaplaincy support, crisis counseling and social services.
Share your art
- Show your support to the Surfside community by sharing your artwork of healing and hope with United Way Miami.
If you are planning to donate, here are some tips to ensure your money reaches the hands of those in need.
- Ensure the charity is registered and eligible to solicit in the state of Florida by visiting FDACS.gov/ConsumerServices
- Contact the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance at Give.org or Charity Navigator to determine whether a charity has any complaints against them before donating
- Research how the charity uses donations
- Refrain from providing banking information to unsolicited calls or emails on behalf of a charity
- Carefully review the charity’s name before making a donation.
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