How you can immediately help those affected by Hurricane Michael

Posted on by Kendra Marasa

Hurricane Michael hurled into the Florida Panhandle on Wednesday, October 10th, wreaking havoc on the communities that lay in its path. The Category 4 storm, just 2 mph shy of reaching a Cat 5, is one of the most powerful hurricanes to hit the United States in since Hurricane Andrew in ’92. It brought heavy winds, rain, and flooding to the Emerald Coast, as well as Georgia, Virginia, and the Carolinas, which are still recovering from Hurricane Florence.

As neighbors and friends, we are prepared and proud to be part of the incredible outreach and relief efforts offering support to those who need it. Our thoughts and prayers are with our sister counties to the east of Walton County. Here is information for those wanting to help.

Here’s how you can help near or far, and please ensure you are giving to vetted organizations:

  • Airbnb: Hosts in the hurricane-affected region have signed up to house those in need, including relief workers in the area to help rebuild. Available homes are marked on a map and are free to relief workers and those displaced by the storm from Oct. 8 to Oct. 29. Want to help host hurricane evacuees or are you displaced from the storm? Sign up here.
  • Facebook: Facebook is matching $1 million in donations made to Save the Children, which is responding to the needs of children and families in affected areas. All donations made on the crisis page or through the Donate Button on the top of News Feed are eligible.
  • GoFundMe: GoFundMe has put together a list of verified campaigns here. They have also set up a general relief fund to directly help those affected by Hurricane Michael.
  • American Red Cross: You can make donations for victims of Hurricane Michael by visiting the Red Cross website or just texting the word MICHEAL to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
  • Feeding the Gulf Coast: If you’re local, Feeding the Gulf is looking for volunteers to help make sure families in affected areas have plenty of food. They are working in collaboration with Feeding America, Feeding Florida Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD), and other disaster responders to distribute food in areas affected by Hurricane Michael. If you’re not local, make a monetary donation here.
  • World Vision is shipping supplies including food and hygiene kits, clean water, blankets, diapers and other personal care items to around 3,000 of the most vulnerable people impacted by the hurricane. Donate to these efforts here.
  • Florida Urgent Rescue: This Jacksonville, Florida, animal rescue group took in dogs from shelters in Hurricane Michael’s path in partnership with Delta Airlines and Paws Humane Society. To make a donation online, click here.
  • Global Giving: The website has established a Hurricane Michael Relief Fund to support local emergency medical workers, providing food, fuel, clean water, hygiene products, and shelter to the affected communities.
  • Habitat for Humanity: The organization that partners with future homeowners to build affordable housing said on its website that it is accepting donations that will be used to respond to families affected by Hurricane Michael “until Habitat for Humanity’s role in meeting the need is met.” Donations can be made online here.
  • International Medical Corps: This groups says it has sent teams of doctors and nurses to Florida at the request of the state’s Department of Health. Help them in their mission by donating here.
  • One Blood: Have a pint to spare? This nonprofit, which serves Florida and most of the Southeast, is encouraging people to donate blood to help in disaster response. Details here.
  • Florida Disaster Fund: The state is accepting donations to this fund activated by Gov. Rick Scott when Hurricane Michael made landfall. It’s set up to assist in the response to and recovery from emergency or disaster. Text the word DISASTER to 20222 to make a $10 donation or Donate here. Volunteer Florida, the organization that administers the fund, is also looking for volunteers.
  • Americares: Americares is working with partners in the area and deploying an emergency team to provide immediate support for healthcare. Donations are accepted online.
  • DonorsChoose.org: This charity has created a recovery fund to directly support teachers in classrooms damaged by Michael. Contributions will help teachers support their students and restock classrooms with materials like books, furniture, classroom supplies, and technology.
  • Samaritan’s Purse has mobilized staff and equipment to provide emergency aid to victims in south Georgia and the Florida Panhandle. Information about how to volunteer and/or donate is here.
  • Humane Society Naples: This no-kill Florida shelter has been sending out rescue teams to towns affected by the hurricane to save any animals in need. You can donate here to support their efforts.
  • The American Kidney Fund: This organization helps to make sure that one disaster doesn’t lead to another. They help fund transportation expenses to dialysis treatment, replace lost medications, and can help with temporary housing. Donate here.
  • Georgia Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster. The Georgia Emergency Management & Homeland Security Agency is directing donations to a number of member organizations, from the Atlanta Community Food Bank to the Salvation Army and the United Way of Coastal Georgia. Find the full list here.
  • Big Cat Rescue, a refuge for wild cats near Panama City, Florida, sustained $100,000 worth of damages that will take an estimated six months to repair. Donate here.
Donation Links

United Way of Northwest Florida –

Red Cross –

Salvation Army –

Catholic Charities USA –

National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster –

More Links

Employ Florida, Disaster Recovery Jobs Portal – https://disasterrecovery.employflorida.com

Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) – https://workforcesecurity.doleta.gov

One Blood, Make a Lifesaving Blood Donation – https://www.oneblood.org/

Red Cross Volunteer – http://www.redcross.org/volunteer/

Salvation Army Volunteer – https://www.redcross.org/volunteer/volunteer-opportunities/disaster-volunteer.html

For Pets

Humane Society of Bay County – https://adoptme.org/donate

Humane Society of the United States – https://secure.humanesociety.org/site/Donation

Wings of Rescue – https://www.wingsofrescue.org/donate/

Best Friends Animal – https://bestfriends.org/

Alaqua Animal Refuge

If you would like to donate or volunteer along the Florida Panhandle for Hurricane Michael relief efforts, here is a list of just SOME of the local businesses and charities that are collecting items:

To volunteer with the Hurricane Michael recovery efforts, visit volunteerflorida.org and fill out the volunteer form, and/or sign up at crowdrelief.net as a volunteer. 

Donations in Walton County: Walton County has three official drop off locations for hurricane relief items, please drop them off during normal business hours at one of the following locations:

  • DeFuniak Springs: Southern Choice Properties (917 US HWY 331 S), M-F 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
  • DeFuniak Springs: Matrix COC (37 State Highway 83), M-F 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Sat 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
  • Santa Rosa Beach: Walton Area Chamber Office (63 S. Centre Trail Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459), M-F 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

 

  • Food for Thought is working directly with emergency responders to ensure supplies go directly to those in need. Drop off location:132 Market St SRB
    Monday – Friday 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM
  • Boys & Girls Club: The Boys & Girls Club of the Emerald Coast is taking donations of school supplies, snacks, water, non-perishable foods and athletic supplies. The donation drop-off site is at the South Walton Coys & Girls Club located at 427 Greenway Trail in Santa Rosa Beach. For more information visit http://www.emeraldcoastbgc.org.
  • Feeding The Gulf Coast: Feeding The Gulf Coast, based out of Milton, Florida is partnering with Feeding America, Feeding Florida, Bay County Emergency Management and Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster to distribute food and water in areas affected by Hurricane Michael. Feeding the Gulf Coast is asking for volunteers and monetary donations to tackle upcoming needs. To find out how you can help those affected by Hurricane Michael, please visit : www.feedingthegulfcoast.org.
  • YOLO Miramar Beach: YOLO Board and Safe Water for Walton announced that they are now accepting donations of supplies for victims of Hurricane Michael at their store at 11610 U.S. Highway 98 West in Miramar Beach. For more information visit https://www.facebook.com/yoloboardandbeach/ or call 850-424-6852.
  • Destin Fire Station: The Destin Fire Station is now accepting donations to support those impacted my Hurricane Michael and has a detailed description of needs online. From hygiene kits and school supplies to food and cleaning supplies, all items can be dropped off at the main fire station at 848 Airport Road in Destin from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information visit https://www.facebook.com/DestinFireRescue
  • Destin Commons will be housing a drop-off location between Bass Pro Shops and World of Beer that will be collecting all donations from 7 a.m. until midnight every day between now and Saturday, October 27. Those who are unable to make it to Destin Commons may drop off their donations at Brotula’s, Century 21 Blue Marlin Pelican’s Destin location, Cuvée Kitchen, or Jackacuda’s to be delivered to the main drop-off site at Destin Commons. All donations of any kind are welcome and appreciated.
  • Fort Walton Beach Library: The Fort Walton Beach Library is partnering with Coastal Community Cleanup to collect donations for Hurricane Michael relief to Bay County. Donations of toiletries, diapers, new underwear and socks, first aid items, cleaning supplies, pillows, blankets, box fans, dust masks and utility gloves are being accepted at the front desk. Fort Walton Beach Library is located at 185 Miracle Strip Parkway SE in Fort Walton Beach. For more information visit https://www.facebook.com/fortwaltonbeachpubliclibrary/ or call 850-833-9590.
  • SpringHill Suites Navarre Beach: SpringHill Suites in Navarre Beach is collecting items 24 hours a day including cleaning supplies, baby necessities, hygiene kits, non-perishable food items, pet supplies and bottled water. SprinHill Suites Navarre Beach is located at 8375 Gulf Blvd. Navarre. The donations can be taken to the fist floor lobby front desk. For more information visit https://www.facebook.com/SpringhillSuitesNavarreBeach/.
  • Grayton Beer Company is serving as a regional staging and distribution center for hurricane supplies. Walton County Sheriff’s office is coordinating supply distribution in cooperation with Bay, Gulf, Franklin county sheriff’s offices to ensure supplies get where they are needed quickly. Grayton Beer’s taproom facility will also be a drop zone for the National Diaper Bank Coalition and as a community drop zone. Citizens can bring donation supplies to Grayton Beer Company, 217 Serenoa Rd, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida 32459
  • Destiny Worship Center has secured their Panama City Beach campus and are accepting donations that will then be transported to areas of need. U-Haul trucks have been parked at each of their 5 locations and are accepting the items on the list above at all devices this weekend as well as normal office hours throughout the coming weeks.
  • Beachy Clean Car Wash in Santa Rosa Beach will be giving 100% of the car wash income on Friday and Saturday 10/19 and 10/20 to the victims of Hurricane Michael. Beachy Clean will then match what is raised! It will open 9am-5pm offering exterior washes and full detail washes. For more info, call them 850-267-8400
  • The Salvation Army is now feeding the public at nine different locations across Bay County.
  • ResortQuest by Wyndham Vacation Rentals will be a central drop off location for donations and supplies at TOPS’L Beach and Request Resort at 9011 US Hwy 98, Miramar Beach, FL.
  • Justin Gaffrey Gallery is a drop off location for relief supplies for Hurricane Michael. Justin is accepting ready-to-eat food items, baby products, tarps and new (in package) socks and undergarments.
  • Chef Jim Shirley of  The Bay restaurant is accepting bottled water, gallon jugs & propane donations for their Operation Mobile Relief Kitchen. Please drop off all donations next door to The Bay restaurant at the entrance next to Bay Baits between 6 am – 6 pm
  • Stinky’s Bait Shack is collecting hurricane relief supplies for Bay and Gulf County.
  • Hillary & Reverie – Drop Off location located between the HUB and Watersound on 30-A at the Grace Point community.
Donation Links – Florida

Volunteer Florida –

Junior League of Panama City Diaper Bank –

National Diaper Bank Network, “Diapers for Babies” Hurricane Fund –

Feeding Florida –

We will continually update this page as donation centers and volunteer opportunities arise. 

#PanhandleStrong #FloridaStrong #850Strong #EmeraldCoastStrong

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