The following information was sent out in an email to Duke students from Larry Moneta, Vice President for Student Affairs. Duke’s relief planning efforts are co-chaired by Elaine Madison, Director of the Community Service Center, and Nancy Kelly, Director of Community Engagement and Events for the Nicholas School.
You can find these FAQ and more information on Duke’s website: http://spotlight.duke.edu/relief-efforts/
Q: Can a group of my friends and I just head to the coast and look for somewhere we can help?
A: We know you want to help, but all of the major aid organizations (such as the Red Cross) have asked that non-emergency volunteers not self-deploy. The affected areas of the state are still in the initial stages of recovery but conditions are still changing and there will be areas that are not safe to enter for some time to come. If you do want to volunteer, please work with a recognized relief agency and follow their directions.
Q: Can a group of my friends and I head to the Marine Lab and pitch in there?
A: No. The island has limited accessibility and the Marine Lab is still assessing the hurricane’s impact. They will develop a plan for cleanup and recovery and we will let the Duke community know about any volunteer opportunities.
Q: What can I do?
A: There’s a lot you can do! You can donate goods through a number of organizations, including here on campus. You can donate money. You can register to volunteer with the Red Cross, United Way or other organizations. Duke has a website listing all sorts of relief efforts that are going on: http://spotlight.duke.edu/relief-efforts/
Q: Can I organize a benefit event on campus?
A: There are a number of relief events already in place, so we would ask you to support those. Please see the website for information about them.
Q: Are there any organized groups going out from Duke?
A: Not yet, but we have heard from several groups who are interested and expect there will be opportunities for “alternative fall break” experiences. We will let you know when those are organized.
Q: I want to donate to an organization that serves a particular community, population or area of need. What should I do?
A: Use an online resource that evaluates aid organizations and NGOs (such as Charity Navigator) to search for reputable groups that serve your area of interest.