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Here’s how to help hurricane victims in Florida and beyond

Tammy Clements on Thursday recounted hanging on to the rain gutter of her home before swimming to safety after Hurricane Ian swept across San Marcos Island, in Fort Myers Beach, Fla.JOHNNY MILANO/NYT

As Hurricane Ian continues to unleash destruction across the southeastern United States, disaster relief organizations are reminding Massachusetts residents there are many ways to help.

Though it’s too late to complete volunteer training and be flown to Florida with the Red Cross, people can donate blood at their local clinic and send donations to the organization to fund supplies, said Jeff Hall, communications manager for the American Red Cross of Massachusetts.

Volunteers for the Salvation Army in Massachusetts are on standby to support responders in Florida, but others can still get involved in the relief efforts, said Heather MacFarlane, director of communications for the organization in the state.

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“Financial donations are really the best way people can help at this point. I know it’s always instinctual that people want to be able to give items,” but providing money allows the organization to identify the needs of the community and provide specific supplies, MacFarlane said.

Former Patriots star Tom Brady, who relocated to Florida during his transition to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, took to social media Thursday evening, encouraging people to donate to relief causes. The Florida Disaster Fund, the organization linked by the football legend, is the state’s private fund created to support response and recovery activities, according to the website.

“Happy [we’re] able to head home for Sunday night, but so many people in Florida won’t be able to do the same. I’ll be making a donation to the Florida Disaster Fund to get things started, and I’m hoping the rest of the NFL family in our state will follow suit,” Brady wrote in a tweet.

Farm Share, a nonprofit organization based in Florida that collects leftover produce and delivers it across the state, has delivered truckloads of food to Fort Myers and other affected areas in recent days. The organization asked for financial donations to meet the demand for food and supplies.

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“Unfortunately, Hurricane Ian has devastated our beautiful state,” the organization said in a tweet. “Farm Share has sent aid to the west coast. We need your help to be able to appropriately respond to the demand in food & supplies throughout the state of Florida.”

Feeding Florida, a branch of the national food bank nonprofit Feeding America, is collecting donations to provide food, water, and resources to people affected by the hurricane. The organization encouraged people to donate money, food, or supplies of their own to local food banks in Florida as well.

In Georgia, Caring for Others — a nonprofit aiming to help people most affected by natural disasters — is accepting donations for Florida relief efforts through its Convoy of Care. The group is also seeking donations to pay for household supplies as well as clothing, food, and water for affected residents.

CORE, a global response organization that formed following the Haiti earthquake in 2010, has also asked for donations to help bring supplies to those in need as it coordinates with local partners and the government.

“We imagine that a lot of these small communities all across South Florida are going to need a lot of help getting back into their homes after this event,” one of CORE’s members said in a video.

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