10 powerful ways to help children + families impacted by Hurricane Michael

When Hurricane Michael slammed into Florida this week, American families in that state, as well as in Georgia and the Carolinas had their lives upended. One of the most powerful hurricanes in U.S. history took lives, leveled entire neighborhoods, forced families from their homes and left others without power and necessary supplies.

We can only imagine how hard it must be for families trying to keep their children safe in a situation that feels anything but. If you're looking for a way to offer your help and support to the families that need it, we have some suggestions for you.

Here are 10 ways to help families and children in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael:

1. Open your home 

Airbnb is making it easy for people in Florida, Alabama and Georgia to offer shelter to either evacuees or out-of-state volunteers. Just sign up for the Open Homes program.

2. Help provide child-focused supplies 

We can help families who've been impacted by the hurricane get necessary items like portable cribs, strollers and other gear for babies and kids by donating to Save the Children's Hurricane Michael Children's Relief Fund.

3. Donate to the National Diaper Bank Network through Amazon 

Diapers may seem like a small thing, but to parents who need them and don't have them, getting a pack of Pampers would be a huge relief.

A donation to the National Diaper Bank Network can also go a long way toward helping families who desperately need diapers right now. Putting diapers in the hands of parents who need them is as easy as buying a box from the National Diaper Bank Network's Amazon Wish List.

4. Help teachers restock classrooms 

The children living in the path of Hurricane Michael didn't just lose their homes, but in many cases, their schools and classrooms were damaged, too. When they get back into those classrooms, they're going to need new books, furniture, classroom supplies, technology, and therapy resources.

We can help teachers restock their classrooms with those supplies lost to the hurricane by donating to the Donors Choose Hurricane Michael fund.

5. Help families rebuild their homes 

So many families will need to do major remediation on their homes before moving back in after this hurricane, but accessing the resources to gut a damaged interior or rid a home of mold is difficult for families who have already endured so much.

SBP is a nonprofit dedicated to helping families get back into their homes after disasters like Hurricane Michael, and a can help get people back into their homes and lives faster. Check out SBP's Hurricane Micheal response here.

6. Donate blood 

When disasters strike, donating funds is great, but for the people who need it, donating blood is even better. It's easy to make an appointment with the American Red Cross to donate blood to those in need. Your blood could help a family enduring the hardest moment of their lives.

7. Donate through text message  

One of the fastest ways to donate to the relief efforts is via text message. Text "DISASTER" to 20222 to donate $10 to Text "DISASTER25" to up that donation to $25.

8. Protect yourself (and the families you intend to help) from fraud 

In almost every town and city across America, churches and community groups are collecting donations to help the victims of Hurricane Michael, but so unfortunately, are scammers. According to the Federal Trade Commission, charity fraud after a hurricane is sadly common.

Make sure the money you're donating goes to the people who really need it by checking prospective charities through Charity Navigator or CharityWatch, and avoid making cash or gift card donations. Reputable charities have online portals for credit card donations, the FTC notes.

9. Volunteer 

Donating your time is another way to help. Some organizations volunteer efforts are already at capacity, but others are still looking for people who can help not just now, but in the weeks and months ahead. Check out this application for Volunteer Florida if you have time to spare.

10. Remember these communities and the families in them 

As Volunteer Florida notes in its volunteer application, recovering from this disaster will take the area years.

People need help now, but they will still need help weeks and months into the future. Some of the communities hit by this storm suffer high rates of poverty, and a natural disaster is quickly turning into a financial disaster for many families.

In the weeks to come, Hurricane Michael may fade from the news cycle, but we need to remember and continue to help the families it devastated, because it won't fade from their memories any time soon without our help.

We can all imagine how hard this must be for the parents and children living through it, but we can work hard to help limit the time families have to spend in limbo, between disaster and recovery.

You might also like:

Why do all of my good parenting or baby-focused inventions come after they've already been invented by someone else? Sigh.

Like the Puj hug hooded baby towel, aka the handiest, softest cotton towel ever created.

Safely removing a wet, slippery baby from the bath can be totally nerve-wracking, and trying to hold onto a towel at the same time without soaking it in the process seems to require an extra arm altogether. It's no wonder so much water ends up on the floor, the countertops, or you(!) after bathing your little one. Their splashing and kicking in the water is beyond adorable, of course, but the clean up after? Not as much.

It sounds simple: Wash your child, sing them a song or two, let them play with some toys, then take them out, place a towel around them, and dry them off. Should be easy, peasy, lemon squeezy, right?

But it hasn't been. It's been more—as one of my favorite memes says—difficult, difficult, lemon difficult. Because until this towel hit the bathtime scene, there was no easy-peasy way to pick up your squirming wet baby without drenching yourself and/or everything around you.

Plus, there is nothing cuter than a baby in a plush hooded towel, right? Well, except when it's paired with a dry, mess-free floor, maybe.

Check out our favorites to make bathtime so much easier:

Keep reading Show less

One of our main goals as mothers is to encourage our children to learn, grow and play. They start out as our tiny, adorable babies who need us for everything, and somehow, before you know it, they grow into toddlers with ideas and opinions and desires of their own.

You may be hearing a lot more of "I do it!" or maybe they're pushing your hand away as a signal to let you know, I don't need your help, Mama. That's okay. They're just telling you they're ready for more independence. They want to be in charge of their bodies, and any little bit of control their lives and abilities allow.

So, instead of challenging your toddler's desire for autonomy, we found five of our favorite products to help encourage independence—and eliminate frustration in the process.

EKOBO Bamboo 4-piece kid set

EKOBO bamboo 4-piece kid set

This colorful set includes a plate, cup, bowl and spoon and is just right for your child's meal experience. Keep them in an easy-to-reach cabinet so they'll feel encouraged (and excited!) to get their own place setting each time they eat.


Puj PhillUp hangable kids cups

Puj PhillUp hangable kids cups

Before you know it, your little one will be asking (okay, maybe demanding) to fill their own water cups. This amazing 4-pack of cups attaches directly to the fridge (or any glass, metal, tile or fiberglass surface) making it easier for your child to grab a cup themselves. Just be sure a water pitcher or dispenser is nearby, and—boom!—one task off your plate.


Wise Elk puzzle tower blocks

Wise Elk puzzle tower blocks

These beautiful blocks, made from sustainably-sourced wood and water-based, non-toxic, lead-free paint, will keep your little one focused on their creation while they're also busy working on their fine-motor skills. The puzzle design will encourage patience as your kiddo creates their own building, fitting one block in after the next.


Lorena Canals basket

Lorena Canals Basket

This *gorgeous* braided cotton basket is the perfect, accessible home for their blocks (and whatever else you want to hide away!) so your kiddo can grab them (and clean them up) whenever their heart desires.


BABYBJÖRN step stool

BABYBJ\u00d6RN Step Stool

Your kiddo might be ready to take on the world, but they might need an extra boost to do so—cue, a step stool! An easy-to-move lightweight stool is the must-have confidence-boosting tool you need in your home so your growing tot can reach, well... the world.


We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.


Our list of 100 baby names that should be on everyone's list this year includes more choices than in the past of names that are obscure and surprising. That's because there are so many more unusual baby names coming into widespread use and baby namers have become a lot more adventurous.

Expectant parents do not need to be told to move beyond Jennifer and Jason. Their thinking about names has evolved to the point that the most useful thing we can do is offer a large menu of intriguing choices.

Here are our picks for the 100 best surprising + unusual baby names now.

Keep reading Show less
Learn + Play