Suggestions that will help you help without causing unintentional harm.
Thinking of jumping in your car and driving to Louisiana to help those affected by the flood? Wondering how you could mail some food or hand-me-down clothes to help? If you answered yes — don’t do it.
Yet, that is.
Hit the brakes for a moment before acting. Here’s the deal: Volunteers and resources are going to be needed. In a recent Humanitarian Disaster Institute study, we found that social and spiritual support was vital to fostering resilience among flood survivors.
However, being a spontaneous unaffiliated volunteer (what we call an SUV) is likely to cause more harm than good. Sending supplies before communities are ready to receive them isn’t the way to help either. You will likely only add to the chaos happening there.
Here are some suggestions that will help you help without causing unintentional harm.
As people of faith, we are called to pray for others, especially for those in need. We don’t think that saying “sending our prayers” is a meaningless gesture; we think it’s a God-ordained means of calling out for divine help. In times of disasters we shouldn’t see prayer as an afterthought, but rather as one of the most powerful things we can do to help.
It’s encouraging to see that a LifeWay Research study, conducted in collaboration with Max Lucado, found Christians regularly pray for others impacted by natural disasters. We have example after example throughout the Scriptures of the power of prayer, and should pray with confidence that our prayers will be heard. Today is a good day to pray for suffering people in Louisiana.
Know Why You Want To Help
You are more likely to run into or cause trouble if you get involved in disaster response for the wrong reasons. …