Looking to help? Various United Ways collecting for those hurt by Ida — and Afghan refugees settling in N.J.

United Way of Greater Newark has established the Hurricane Ida Relief Fund to address the needs of Newark residents affected by the recent devastation caused by Hurricane Ida — and it has joined together with four other United Ways across the state to collect donations for Afghan refugees who have been sent to Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst.

United Way of Greater Newark CEO Catherine Wilson said residents in the state’s largest city are among those who need help as they clean, repair and rebuild their homes.

At least 27 people were killed in New Jersey, while thousands were displaced in the greater Newark area alone. Families devastated by this storm already struggling with the financial impact of the pandemic are now saddled with the additional burden of having to cover their increasingly expensive insurance premiums. The fund will be used to cover basic needs like food, personal hygiene items, etc., as well as temporary shelter, as needed.

“The devastation wrought by Hurricane Ida on the city of Newark and the surrounding area is extensive and only compounds the ongoing pandemic and economic crisis that has impacted so many residents,” Wilson said. “While the cleanup effort will likely take months, United Way of Greater Newark is committed to helping residents during this time of crisis. We are calling on our community to help each other out during this time and show the rest of the state and country that Newarkers are strong.”

(Donate here — and know that 100% of all donations will go directly to those impacted.)

In addition, the United Way of Greater Newark, United Way of Hunterdon County, United Way of Monmouth and Ocean Counties, United Way of Northern New Jersey and United Way of Passaic County have launched a major donation drive to support the 9,500 Afghan refugees at the joint base.

The donation drive is focused on meeting the most urgent needs of the families, such as diapers, personal care products, undergarments and cell phone chargers. The drive will run through Sept. 30. For those interested, you can purchase items here. Monetary donations are not being accepted at this time.

United Way of Monmouth and Ocean Counties CEO Lori-Anne McLane said the need to help is great.

“It is unfathomable what the Afghan refugees have left behind and endured to make their way to safety here in New Jersey,” she said. “As part of our mission to bridge the gaps to the unmet needs of our residents, UWMOC is proud to partner with United Ways in New Jersey to support our new neighbors with critical care items and help them transition to their new life in the U.S.”

Donated items will help Afghan families and individuals settle and transition to a new life. All goods ordered will be shipped directly to the base for immediate distribution.