Red Cross volunteers distribute water, food and other basic necessities to families affected by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. (Photo by Sergio Rojas for The American Red Cross)

Natural Disaster Relief: How to Help

Maryville University’s core values of global awareness and civic engagement impel us to encourage active engagement in our community, nation and world. Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Jose and Maria, as well as the recent earthquakes in Mexico, have drawn the world’s attention and empathy, calling us to act. While Maryville cannot address every such occurrence in a substantial way, we can provide information about ways for you to get involved through financial and in-kind contributions to bring relief to those affected.

Beginning the last weekend in August and through the following week, Hurricane Harvey hit Texas and Louisiana causing significant damage and flooding. Below are some options for donating toward relief efforts, including some initiated here at Maryville.

In early September, President Mark Lombardi, PhD, invited the Maryville community to join him in donating to the American Red Cross in response to the devastation of Hurricane Harvey, for which a Crowdrise fundraising site was created. This effort surpassed its $1000 goal by $690, but still remains open for contribution.

Beginning during the Involvement Fair on Aug. 31, the Office of Service & Spiritual Life began collecting funds for the United Way of Greater Houston Hurricane Relief fund. This effort continues and has been extended through October 20. Contact Steve DiSalvo at or 314.529.9521 for more information.

Other Hurricane Harvey Relief options:

In early September the path of Hurricane Irma impacted the Caribbean Islands and Florida. Some of the organizations assisting in these areas include:

Many organizations are accepting donations to bring relief and aid to Mexico after a 7.1 magnitude earthquake hit on Sept. 19. Below is a list of organizations actively responding to this need. Some of the websites below are in Spanish but can be translated using Google.

The George H. W. Bush Presidential Library Foundation One America Appeal brings together the living former United States presidents to raise funds that will support relief and aid to all areas affected by recent hurricanes.

On Sept. 25, Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico. Multiple organizations are responding, including the local St. Louis Puerto Rican Society, which is collecting donations at their website: Other places to donate include:

The list of organizations presented here is not exhaustive, nor does it necessarily represent an endorsement of that organization by Maryville University. As with any organization to which you might contribute, we recommend that you vet organizations with tools like Charity Navigator.