For Freshmen. By Freshmen.
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Sep 12 2017
by Victoria Nguyen

6 Free Apps That Let You Donate To Hurricane Relief Charities Without Actually Spending Money

By Victoria Nguyen - Sep 12 2017

Harvey, Irma, Katia and Jose are all major hurricanes that have formed during the 2017 hurricane season. Although Harvey, ranked as a Category 3 member, made its appearance first, Irma, Category 5, is the worst storm. 

Hurricane Irma made its debut just a week after Harvey hit, and has already passed over Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Florida. Irma has left an estimated 60% of the Barbuda Island population homeless and more than one million without power in the Caribbean. 

Hurricane Harvey's devastation has left an abundance of people homeless, with 185,149 homes estimated to be damaged or destroyed according to the Texas Division of Emergency Management. There is an extreme lack of access to clean water due to pathogenic contaminated waters, and 120,000 residents in Beaumont, Texas are without water. There has even been an increase in water prices up to $99 and gas prices up to $4 to $10 a gallon in Texas. According to census figures, 22.5 percent of the Houston population were already living below the poverty line prior to Hurricane Harvey. These people have literally lost their homes, and they're expected to pull a fat wad of cash out their pockets for a case of water that should be essentially free in a time of crisis. Shouldn't everyone be able to have access to clean water? Water is absolutely essential to keeping us alive. 

Instead of having a complete lack of empathy by capitalizing on people's misfortunes, we should be donating money to help the victims of these vicious hurricanes. As college students, we have a lot of passion and care for a cause, but not a lot of money. So here are ten apps that allow you to donate money to charities (without actually spending money) that could possibly help hurricane victims and those in other dire situations. 

1. Charity Miles

Charity Miles

For every mile that you walk/run while running this app, 25 cents are donated to a charity of your choice. As you are walking, an ad will pop up, which will sponsor your donation. You can run this app simultaneously. Although it may not seem like a lot, it adds up. If you walk one mile per day for a whole year, you could be donating up to $91. Plus, there are great health benefits to walking a mile a day! Charities that are on this app that can have a direct impact on hurricane victims include Feeding America, Save The Children and Habitat for Humanity. 

2. Free Rice

Free Rice

This website donates ten grains of rice via the World Food Programme for every basic vocabulary question that you answer correctly. As college students, we definitely have the knowledge to do this, and you could educate your younger family members by having them donate as well! This website has been verified by Snopes

3. Donate a photo.

Donate a Photo

This app is sponsored by Johnson & Johnson. For every photo shared on the app, Johnson & Johnson donates one dollar towards your selected cause. The categories of causes include Women's and Children's Health, Healthy Families, Health Workforce, Environmental Health, Global Disease Challenges, Essential Surgery, Education and Equality and Emergency Relief. 1244 out of 7500 Hurricane Harvey survivors have been helped so far. We're always on Snapchat taking selfies anyway, why not make your next one for a good cause? 

4. Check-in for good.

Check-in for Good

This app identifies the donation hot spots that are closest to you. Once you check in, the participating business will donate to the cause that you are supporting. Although this app is currently not available in the U.S., you can still create your own fundraiser and have people donate money to your cause. These causes include independent fundraisers for these categories: Run/Walk, Schools and Education, Sports and Teams, Health and Medicine, Children and Youth, Memorial, Religious Groups and Crisis and Disaster. 

5. Tinbox 


All you have to do is click a button to donate a dollar to a cause of your choice with this app! A company that has teamed up with Tinbox will sponsor your donation. Tinbox has been featured by the Huffington Post, Yahoo News and TechCrunch. This app was developed in Paris 2016, but it is currently having technical difficulties. Signing into the app can be a little tricky right now, so keep an eye out for this app as it continues to grow! 

6. Give2Charity 

Give 2 Charity

This app allows you to take surveys to earn points. Once you earn 1,500 points, you can redeem them to donate money to a charity of your choice. Charities on the app that are helping hurricane victims include The Salvation Army and Habitat for Humanity. 

Although hurricane season naturally is from June to November, human-caused climate change can intensify extreme weather, which includes hurricanes. Another way that we can help potential hurricane victims in the future is by voting for politicians that believe in climate change, supporting environmentalist organizations and advocating for climate science education. If we continue to only come to action in present disasters, nothing will ever get better in the long run.  

Lead Image Credit: Unsplash 

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Victoria Nguyen - University of California, Irvine

Victoria Nguyen is a freshman at University of California Irvine majoring in Social Ecology. Follow her on Instagram! @victoriatsn

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