How you can help music people hit by hurricanes

MusiCares reaches out to victims of Harvey & Irma

Musicians, singers and songwriters are among the many thousands of people hurt by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. But a hand is reaching out to help them, and you, too, can help.

photo: MusiCares/Getty Images

Trying to make your way in the music industry can seem like a lonely and precarious pursuit, living from gig to gig, royalty check to royalty check. Simply paying the rent or finding money for medical bills can be an ongoing struggle. When disaster strikes – in the form of hurricanes, tornadoes and floods – music people can face personal catastrophe.

MusiCares is there to help music people in need. In addition to their regular assistance programs, MusiCares has set up a special Hurricane Relief Fund, and you can donate at

MusiCares provides safety net for music people

MusiCares is a charitable organization operated by the Recording Academy (The GRAMMY people) that provides a safety net of critical assistance for music people in times of need. MusiCares’ services and resources cover a wide range of financial, medical, and personal emergencies, and each case is treated with integrity and confidentiality.

I know personally several people who have been helped by MusiCares, and I can vouch for their integrity and the real assistance they provide.

ASCAP donates $25K to MusiCares

ASCAP rapidly donated $25,000 to MusiCares to help provide relief for members of the music community affected by the hurricanes.

“Our hearts go out to our members who must now recover from these catastrophic storms,” said ASCAP President and Chairman Paul Williams, in a press release a few days ago. “ASCAP has always believed in harnessing the strength of our collective community to build a stronger future for music creators. In that spirit, we are pleased to join forces with our friends at MusiCares in helping to rebuild a future for those members of our community who need our help putting their lives back together.”

Do you need MusiCares’ help?

Musicians and music professionals can request disaster relief by contacting the South Regional MusiCares office at 615.327.0050 or toll-free at 877.626.2748, or by submitting an application here.

Animals need our help, too

photo: The Humane Society of the United States

So many pets were separated from their owners by the hurricanes that animal welfare organizations need our help too. A story in USA TODAY outlined the steps being taken: The national effort being undertaken by the Humane Society of the United States, Wings of Rescue, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals,, the Best Friends Animal Society and other organizations involves flying homeless dogs and cats who already populated Texas shelters to facilities in other parts of the country.

Those animals will go up for adoption in their new area while Texas shelters make room for pets who might wind up lost or abandoned in the wake of the hurricane and floods.

How to help pets in peril

To donate to the Humane Society of the United States, click here.

To donate to Wings of Rescue, click here.

To donate to Best Friends Animal Society, click here.

Don’t get scammed!

Whenever disaster strikes, some unscrupulous will come out of the woodwork to take advantage of innocent donors. It’s always advisable to only donate to well-known and accredited organizations such as MusiCares and other charities I’ve listed here.  If you are in doubt about how genuine a supposed charity really is, you can check if it is accredited by Charity Navigator, Charity Watch or the Better Business Bureau.

And all major charities working in disaster relief make a point of stating that money is the best donation for fast effective help, as warehouses quickly fill up with donated blankets, food and other items can divert resources away from more pressing work.

Please check out MusiCare’s website to see how you can help – or to find out how MusiCares can help you.