Georgia is still reeling from the effects ofHurricane Matthew, but repairs and rebuilding are underway. Georgia has not been immune to disasters. In 1994, Tropical Storm Alberto brought 25 inches of rain in less than 24 hours displacing more than 50,000 people and dislodging at least 400 coffins into flooded streets. In the 1996 Olympics, we experienced the terrorist bombing at Centennial Olympic Park. In March of 2007, twenty-one tornadoes touched down in Eastern, Middle and Southern Georgia. In 2009, continuous rain resulted in the 500-year flood and now in 2016, we're dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew. At least 3 people have been killed in Georgia by this storm and more than 370,000 were without power the Saturday morning following its arrival. Thirty counties were declared federal disaster areas and St. Simon Island was considered a public health hazard due to raw sewage on the streets. On Tybee Island, the storm surge on the island reached 12.5 feet breaking the previous record of 12.2 feet set when Hurricane David struck in 1979.
What does all this have in common?
Georgia's resiliency and perseverance.
We always bounce back Georgia! We are a state that comes together in a crisis and gives support and help whenever we can. Organizations like the American Red Cross which had local chapters helping during the immediate crisis, are helping even more afterwards so the healing can begin. They offer special care long after the visible signs of the disaster have faded. With programs that help individuals heal emotionally, financially and physically the American Red Cross truly lives up to their mission statement which is "to prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors."
If you'd like to be a donor, consider signing up on Giv360. Our Giv360 app is dedicated to helping support your chosen non-profit. When you visit a Giv360 merchant and make a purchase, they'll in turn donate up to 5% of your bill to the charity you picked. It's just one of the many ways people across Georgia are able to help each other one dollar at a time.
Another great organization with its corporate office in Columbus, Georgia is Food Aid International. They've set up distribution partners providing immediate food relief for the millions of people impacted throughout the Caribbean, including Haiti and Cuba which were so hard-hit.
And I'm sure everybody recognizes those red Emergency Disaster Service jackets worn by The Salvation Army. Their Southern Territory headquarters are based right in Atlanta. In the latest tally, in response to Hurricane Matthew, The Salvation Army provided over 20,659 hours of employee and volunteer services, sheltered 791 people, provided 115,640 meals, 146,871 snacks and 89 mobile feeding units. In addition to cleanup kits, comfort kits, food boxes and drinks, they're also providing comfort and hope.
Your donation can provide hope as well to all the wonderful non-profits coming to the aid of Georgia and the rest of the country affected by Hurricane Matthew. Sign up today at Giv360 and you'll become a treasured part of the relief efforts.