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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCF chapter.

Hurricane Maria is one of the most intense storms the Atlantic has ever seen. And for the people of Puerto Rico and the southern islands, it has totally destroyed the places they call home. Extreme flooding, massive debris, and the absence of power has opened wounds within the countries that are bleeding out—and they are calling for us to come and help. 

According to FEMA, there are three ways for citizens to help after a disaster:

  1. Cash donation: This is the fastest and most effective way to donate to the cause. You can make donations directly to the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or go through any of the FEMA approved organizations that are dedicated to hurricane relief. Be careful where you choose and make sure that they are legit before you donate, because as unfortunate as it is, some posing organizations try to make a profit during this time.
  2. Donation of goods: Due to the loss of power and the flooding, the island of Puerto Rico is completely landlocked—with the supply of goods slowly decreasing. There are various non-profit organizations that are collecting donations from people throughout the state of Florida. Household items, perishables, clothing, and other miscellaneous goods are being accepted. You can drop off items at local Goodwill and The Salvation Army stores, certain public schools, and many businesses in the area. Tip: check and see if the drop off location is still collecting before bringing the goods there.
  3. Volunteering: If you really want to get involved, this is the option for you. The relief efforts are always looking for volunteers that are willing to help in a crisis. Whether it be helping with the collecting/transporting of goods or being deployed to the affected area to help the first responders, volunteers are needed and appreciated. UCF Students were helping at the local Acacia’s El Centro Borinqueño on N. Econlockhatchee Trail, by accepting and packaging goods. If you or anyone is interested in helping out, there is a list of volunteer websites at www.nvoad.org.

The countries affected by this storm are in trouble. Sometimes we can’t rely on the officials that run this country to get the job done—so that means we have to come together and help out our fellow people in need. Please, if you can, choose one of the three options above and help the Hurricane Maria relief efforts. 

Peyton is in her junior year at UCF. She is a journalism major and a political science minor. She has always had a passion for writing and enjoys  being a UCF HerCampus team member. Go Knights! 
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