How you can help victims of recent tragedies

A road in Roseau, the capital of the Caribbean island Dominica, is littered with structural debris, damaged vegetation and downed power poles and lines after Hurricane Maria. (Photo credit: Roosevelt Skerrit)


During the past few months alone, the lives of millions of people in America and our neighboring nations and territories have been devastated by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, the earthquakes in Mexico, and a mass shooting in Las Vegas. As an academic community and practitioners of the healing arts, we at Stanford Medicine care deeply about anyone whose health and well-being is in danger. Many of these victims face a dire humanitarian crisis and require immediate help, but all of these places will also require long-term support for months to come.

Below we’ve listed organizations accepting donations and volunteer services to help the victims of these disasters. Thank you for your commitment to serving people in desperate need.


How to help victims of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria

Puerto Rico and other Caribbean islands


Texas Hospital Assistance (THA) Employee Assistance Fund: Established with an initial donation from the American Hospital Association, this fund will be used to directly assist hospital employees in Federal Emergency Management Agency-designated disaster areas. Administrative services are being provided in kind so that 100 percent of donated funds will be go to those in need.

Blood Donations: The AABB Interorganizational Task Force on Domestic Disasters and Acts of Terrorism is urging eligible individuals across the United States, especially those with type O-positive blood, to donate blood. Those interested may contact the following organizations:

In addition to the resources listed above, non-profit charity evaluator Charity Navigator has compiled lists of organizations accepting donations to victims of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. Once the infrastructure in the regions impacted by these hurricanes is stable, volunteers will be able to assist in relief efforts. Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) is coordinating many of these efforts for Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Texas and Florida.


How to help victims of the earthquakes in Mexico


How to help victims of the mass shooting in Las Vegas

Stanford Health Care (SHC) is offering assistance. We have reached out to offer help and resources to our colleagues at University Medical Center in Las Vegas, where many of the wounded were taken for emergency care.  Like SHC, UMC is a Level I trauma center.  VP of Operations Alison Kerr has been in direct contact with the command center at UMC and has conveyed to them that we at SHC are ready to assist in whatever manner is needed, including transferring patients to available inpatient beds here. In addition, Dr. Timothy Browder, who was recruited from the University of Nevada School of Medicine, has reached out at the clinical level to his former colleagues at UMC.

Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval is asking Nevadans to donate blood through Non-Nevadans can donate blood at United Blood Services in the greater Reno-Carson area. You can also sign up for future blood drives.

If you'd like to donate funds to victims and their families, you can give to the National Compassion Fund. This drive is organized by the National Center for Victims of Crime, which set up a similar drive after the Pulse nightclub shooting and promises to send 100% of proceeds directly to the victims.


How to help victims of wildfires in the North Bay

(The information below is taken from SFGate)


Santa Rosa has asked anyone who is safe to consider volunteering. They need help checking in evacuees and distributing supplies at both Elsie Allen High School and Cook Middle School. The Red Cross has a sign-in sheet here. Do not call emergency services unless you see active, unattended flames or a life-threatening situation. Emergency services around the Bay Area are overwhelmed right now, and do not need more calls unless you have an immediate emergency. Stay off the roads, if possible. You are hindering emergency vehicles and urgent evacuees from getting through.


You can donate to the Red Cross, which helps distribute disaster relief aid.  San Francisco store Love on Haight is giving away free clothes to fire victims, if you are looking for a quick place to donate. They are also offering a few spots to stay in the city for evacuees.