Donate to Louisiana flood relief efforts – using an ATM


At least 13 people have been killed, more than 60,000 homes have been damaged, and thousands more people who call the Baton Rouge area home have been displaced by the recent flooding in Louisiana.

One of the ways you can help, if you're interested in doing so: go to an ATM.

U.S. Bank ATMs across the country now have an option that lets you donate to the Red Cross for disaster relief efforts, the organization announced in a release. You can see in the photo above what the option on at least one ATM looks like – you insert your card, punch in your code, and then you can click the donate option and it walks you through the next steps/confirmation process.

The Red Cross said Monday it had gotten about $7.8 million in donations for flood relief – but thinks it'll need $30 million (or more) to cover all the costs.

While the floods in Louisiana are maybe the most pressing need, the ATM donations can be used for any crises, such as tornadoes in the Midwest or wildfires in California, the Red Cross notes.

Donations through the Minneapolis-based U.S. Bank's ATMs will be accepted through Sept. 16. They've got a total of 4,923 ATMs in more than two dozen states.

“We are so grateful to U.S. Bank for its ongoing support of our flood relief operations in Louisiana,” David Staszak, chief development officer for the American Red Cross, said in the release, saying the donated funds from the general public are "essential" to the Red Cross' response efforts.

Richard Davis, Chairman and CEO of U.S. Bank, said he encourages "everyone to consider making a contribution to the Red Cross to help out our neighbors during these challenging times.”

Wells Fargo is also allowing donations via ATM, but only in a couple southern regions.

President Barack Obama visited the Baton Rouge area Tuesday, the New York Times reported, saying in part: "I know how resilient the people of Louisiana are and I know you will rebuild again."

Time has a list of organizations you can donate to, in order to help the flood relief efforts.

ATM donations aren't new

This has actually been a thing for about half a decade now.

The Star Tribune wrote about it in 2011, when Wells Fargo rolled out a donation option at ATMs following the 2011 tsunami and earthquake in Japan. At the time, the American Bankers Association and the Minnesota Bankers Association both told the paper they'd never heard of that being done before.

Since that time however it's become, if not a staple, then at least a not-uncommon occurrence. A couple examples:

Wells Fargo did it again in 2012 following Hurricane Sandy, raising more than $1.3 million in 16 days.

Then there was U.S. Bank (in coordination with the Red Cross) offering the option after 2013 for the Oklahoma tornadoes, which it followed up with a general disaster relief campaign in early 2014.

The U.S. Bank-Red Cross relationship goes back to 2012, when the two groups established a partnership that includes a $250,000 annual donation from the bank for disaster services, the Red Cross says.

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