Efforts to rebuild Notre Dame are underway after a devastating fire ravaged the Paris landmark on Monday. The historic cathedral burned for nine hours before firefighters contained the flames, and the devastation included the loss of the cathedral's iconic spire and part of the roof. On Tuesday, French President Emmanuel Macron vowed to rebuild Notre Dame.
When tragedy strikes, it might seem overwhelming, especially if you're an ocean away. Here are a few places to get you started if you're interested in being a part of rebuilding the cathedral.
Charities and nonprofits
- Fondation du Patrimoine has collected more than 7 million euros internationally for the Notre Dame Cathedral. Donations can be made once or monthly by credit card, check or bank transfer. The nonprofit is dedicated to preserving historical and cultural sites in France.
- The Friends of Notre Dame is a 501c3 public charity. Donations to Notre Dame's restoration can be made by credit card, through PayPal, or by sending a check to the address on the website. The charity has broken up its budget into long-term, intermediate and urgent needs for the cathedral. Urgent needs include restoring the fallen spire, the collapsed roof and the sacristy.
- The Basilica of the National Shrine, also known as America's Catholic Church, is collecting donations online and prayer requests in the wake of Monday's fire at the cathedral. The National Shrine encouraged the world to unite and rebuild the cathedral that has served as a place of worship for eight centuries.
- The French Heritage Society, a public nonprofit, established a fund on Monday to collect donations for the restoration of Notre Dame Cathedral. You can donate online with a credit or debit card, with PayPal, send checks in the mail, or donate over the phone by contacting Benjamin Wells at the FHS Programs Membership Office, at (212) 759-6846, ext. 201. Donations are tax deductible under US law and eligible for deduction under French law.
- Dozens of GoFundMe campaigns have cropped up around the world to help rebuild Notre Dame. While you can donate to these, be aware that they're unofficial fundraisers. It's important to always research organizations to make sure they're reputable.
Who else is helping
In addition to Macron promising to launch an immediate fundraising campaign, French philanthropists pledged donations totaling 700 million euros to rebuild Notre Dame Cathedral.
Bernard Arnault, head of LVMH; François-Henri Pinault, CEO of Kering; and L'Oreal's Bettencourt Meyers family promised a combined 500 million euros on Tuesday. The University of Notre Dame will also donate $100,000 to the cathedral's relief, and it said the campus basilica's bell would toll 50 times at 6 p.m. ET Tuesday.
IBM has pledged to give 1 million euros, while Apple CEO Tim Cook also tweeted that his company would donate funds. Disney reportedly pledged $5 million to the restoration efforts. Disney produced The Hunchback of Notre Dame, an animated adaptation of Victor Hugo's novel in 1996.
Originally published April 16, 7:34 a.m. PT.
Update, at 3:32 p.m. PT: Added more details.
Update April 18, 7:36 a.m. PT: Added information about Disney's pledge.