While the Government Pulls Funding From Disaster Relief, Private Businesses Step Up
As we have previously covered on Nonprofit Pro Media, the increasing regularity of extreme weather events linked to climate change will necessitate bolder action from NGOs and government agencies. This expansion of services will, of course, require a significant boost in resources in order to provide for the growing number of communities impacted by natural disasters.
Considering the hardship that extreme weather events cause, it is frustrating to consider how the nation’s political leadership has cut funding for relief services. The Trump Administration transferred nearly $10 million from FEMA to underwrite its aggressive and inhumane immigration policies. While disaster relief services are already stretched thin from the extraordinary number of storms and wildfires that have devastated communities across the United States, this myopic use of public resources is deeply unethical.
Some civic and business leaders, however, are responding to environmental crisis with philanthropic action. The home improvement and hardware chain Lowe’s has committed $2 million to relief efforts grappling with the damage caused by Hurricane Michael. While this donation will support efforts spearheaded by the Red Cross and other charities, it will also fund relief teams comprised of Lowe’s employees, which boast more than 100 volunteers.
By combining both financial and personnel support, Lowe’s presents a hybrid model of philanthropy that should serve as a blueprint for other civically minded businesses eager to assist on the front lines of disaster relief.
While this story is heartening, the fact remains that no single entity can get the job done alone. The problems we face as a nation demand a coalition of charities, businesses, civic organizations, and government agencies engaged in a multi-faceted approach to environmental disasters. Anything less will result in human tragedy on a grand scale.
Check out Charity Navigator’s list of vetted charities and make your own contribution to assist those impacted by Hurricane Michael.