How To Help West Virginia Flood Victims

Devastating floods throughout central and southeastern West Virginia on Thursday killed at least 23 people and left thousands of people without power, homes or access to vital supplies.  

Parts of the state suffered as many as 10 inches of rain that day. President Barack Obama declared the flooding a major disaster and ordered federal aid be sent to Kanawha, Greenbrier and Nicholas counties.

But you don’t have to be in West Virginia to help. Here are the best ways to donate your money, items and time. 

Ami Palmer, 40, hugs her nephew Landon Palmer upon returning to her home in Clendenin, West Virginia, which was damaged by flooding.

Donate Money

You can donate money to the Red Cross and to the local chapter of United Way, which will put the funds toward meals and other relief supplies, as well as mental health services and prescription medications. 

You can also donate money through the West Virginia Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster, the Greenbrier resort, Save the Children and several other local groups. To ensure a charity’s legitimacy before donating, check the secretary of state’s database, Charity Navigator or GuideStar

Donate Items

Several charities are asking for donated items and supplies.

Many fire departments, including those in neighboring states, are coordinating to bring donated supplies to affected people. 

“My home town and area is in desperate need,” Larry Pierson, who is from West Virginia but currently works as the deputy chief of the Swannanoa Fire Department in North Carolina, wrote in a Facebook post asking for material donations. 

“Water is going to be a big need for a while,” he continued. “Families have lost everything!”

Some sheriff’s departments and churches are also gathering donations. 

If you’re in the area, you can drop off donations at West Virginia University. The schools lists cleaning supplies, toiletries, batteries, diapers and other baby items as some of the high-priority needs. 

The Kanawha-Charleston Humane Association is asking for dog and cat food donations, which can be donated in person or through its online wish list

“The need is so great, we were forced to divide bags of dog food between multiple families,” the shelter wrote in an announcement Sunday.

Randy Chapman, 55, passes a chair to his wife, Jamie Chapman, 48, through what was formerly the kitchen wall of their home af

Randy Chapman, 55, passes a chair to his wife, Jamie Chapman, 48, through what was formerly the kitchen wall of their home after flooding in Falling Rock, West Virginia, on Sunday.

Donate Time 

Volunteer groups are asking people interested in helping to stay home until roads are cleared, but you can share your contact information and time availability with them now. 

You can sign up to volunteer through the Red Cross or Volunteer West Virginia, which is working closely with the State Emergency Operations Center, West Virginia Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster and local emergency managers.

Shop Charitably 

If you want to wear your support, 100 percent of the proceeds from this Kin Ship graphic T-shirt will go to the West Virginia chapter of the Red Cross.

Teespring is also donating all the profits from this tank top to the local Red Cross chapter. 

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