Skip to main content

Emergency donations

The best way to help disaster survivors is to make a financial contribution to support their recovery. Many excellent charitable organizations are dedicated to helping survivors in the aftermath of disasters and emergencies. By funding charitable services, your donation can help survivors get back on their feet.

If you need help determining where to donate, check the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster’s list of major non-profits that are active in disaster work.

Frequently asked questions

Why is it better to donate cash to a disaster relief agency?

One of the best ways you can help is by donating money to a disaster relief agency. Cash donations permit disaster relief agencies the flexibility to provide the most needed supplies and services to survivors as rapidly as possible. Relief agencies try to buy supplies locally in order to get the survivors the supplies they need faster. Buying locally also helps to stimulate the economy in the disaster area.

Which agencies are accepting cash donations?

You can send your donation directly to charitable organizations that are helping survivors during the emergency. For a list of these organizations and to learn how to donate, please visit National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster and explore the list of member organizations.

Does the Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management (OEM) accept cash donations and supplies for disaster survivors?

OEM does not directly accept cash donations or emergency supplies. Instead, the City of Philadelphia encourages residents to donate cash and supplies to charitable organizations.

Why doesn’t the City accept donations of supplies for disaster survivors?

The City does not have the resources to transport, warehouse, sort and distribute disaster relief supplies. The City partners with charitable organizations whose staff and volunteers are trained to manage large quantities of donated supplies.

I would still like to donate supplies. What should I do?

If you would like to collect disaster relief supplies, please consider the following:

  • Find out which organization or group is willing to receive your collected goods before you start collecting supplies.
  • Call the organization to find out which supplies the survivors need most urgently.
  • Remember that items needed to support disaster survivors change very rapidly. Some items needed in the immediate aftermath of an emergency may not be required several weeks later.
  • Be prepared to transport the supplies to the sites where the organization needs them to be delivered.
  • Remember, OEM does not directly accept donations at city facilities or evacuation shelters.

How can I donate clothing for the survivors?

The City of Philadelphia does not directly accept new or used clothing items. Clothing donations should be taken to a charitable organization within your community. These organizations already have the resources to make the best use of clothing donations.

How can I donate food for the survivors?

If you are conducting a food drive for disaster relief, contact the food bank of your choice directly to find out which food items they need the most. Be sure to ask where you can drop off the food and the hours they will be accepting food donations.

If you prefer, you can donate cash directly to the food bank of your choice.