Skip to main content
Go to homepage

Print Page

Disasters: How Families Can Help

Disasters, like earthquakes, war, wildfires, or weather events, can happen close to home or far away. But when we hear the news, it affects us. We feel for the people who might be hurt and the communities that are damaged. It has a deeper impact if you know people who are affected.

If it’s an event your kids are aware of, talk with them about what they’ve heard and how they feel. It’s likely that they will feel for the people involved, too. Hearing what others are going through may make kids feel stressed, sad, or worried. To help them cope, listen calmly. Let them say how they feel. Let them know it’s OK to feel the way they do. Help them feel safe.

When it feels right, you might also talk about how your family could help. When you show kids how to turn their empathy into helpful action, they learn they can make a difference.

How Can We Help?

Many groups are set up to help people during a disaster. The best thing you can do is to support them. They know what is needed for each situation. They can guide you on how to give. Visit their websites to find out what they need.

Here are some of them:

It's OK if your family doesn't have a lot to give. Every donation, big or small, helps to rebuild when communities are hit by disasters.

What Can We Give?

Giving money always helps. But it’s not the only thing families can do. Here are other ways that you and your kids can help out:

  • Donate food or other items. Check with your local Red Cross chapter, community center (like the YMCA), or place of worship to find out what they need. Sometimes, charities get too many donations and have to spend money storing or handling the extra items. So ask what’s needed before you give.
  • Donate your time. Offer to help sort through donations or deliver goods to families affected by the disaster.
  • Organize a fundraiser. Start a drive to collect money or supplies for disaster victims. Or plan a walk, run, bake sale, or other activity to raise money. A good place to do it is through your place of worship or your kids’ school.

Why It Matters

Volunteering your time, money, or efforts can help your community — and others — in a time of need. It’s also a way to teach your kids to value giving. Times you spend helping others, especially as a family, are times kids will always remember. It’s meaningful and helps you feel close.

Giving and helping deepen positive emotions like compassion and gratitude. These emotions feel good. And they do us good, too. They build coping skills, lower our stress response, and support our mental well-being. And that’s good for everyone.

Reviewed by: KidsHealth Medical Experts
Date Reviewed: 03-03-2022

Lea este articulo en Español

What next?

Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
There are 10 nurses in the picture.

And we have many more pediatric primary care providers in Northeast Ohio. You can meet some of them here.
Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
The five differences are:
– Phone color
– Coat pocket
– Stethoscope earpiece color
– Stethoscope bell dot
– Clipboard paper color

Need help finding a doctor, choosing a location or getting a general question about Akron Children's answered? Call us or fill out the form and we'll help in any way we can.
Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
The two matching doctors are 9 and 14.

With virtual visits, you can see our pediatric experts from the comfort of home or wherever you are.
Summit Mall Play Area
Answer Key:
Click to expand
The correct path:
The Correct Path
We offer many ways to get pediatric care all over Northeast Ohio. Use this page to find the right kind of care and the most convenient location for you.