Our Hearts Are With Texas — Here’s How You Can Help People Affected By Harvey
Our country is currently experiencing a major emergency in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey — the heaviest storm on record anywhere in the U.S. outside Hawaii. It’s times like these that our humanity unites us. Though we may be many miles away, we must come together as a community to support our neighbors in Texas. Maybe you would like to help but find yourself overwhelmed by the questions. How do I donate? Which organizations will my donations go the furthest? It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by something so huge. We found a guide from NPR to share with you that breaks down ways to help and how. We are sending lots of peace and big love to everyone in Houston. This is our time to stand together as citizens and extend a hand to those who are suffering in Texas.
After Hurricane Harvey made landfall and dropped more than 2 feet of rain, thousands of people in Houston and along the Gulf Coast have been displaced. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott activated the entire Texas National Guard.
FEMA Administrator Brock Long estimated Monday that 30,000 people may need shelter, and some 450,000 may qualify for federal flood victim assistance.
As Harvey continues to dump rain on the Gulf Coast and floodwaters rise, many organizations are doing vital work to help save lives and give comfort.
Here’s a list of some of the organizations that are undertaking this work and how you can contribute to them.
Of course, NPR isn’t endorsing or vouching for any of these groups. It’s a good idea to do a bit of research on any charity before you donate to it. One place to start is Charity Navigator.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner established a Harvey relief fund at The Greater Houston Community Foundation. The organization connects donors with a network of nonprofits and innovative solutions in the social sector.
GlobalGiving, which calls itself the largest global crowdfunding community, has a goal of raising $2 million for its Harvey relief fund. Funds will be used first for immediate needs of food, water and shelter and then transition to long-term recovery efforts.
United Way of Greater Houston has launched a relief fund for storm-related needs and recovery. The organization says it already maintains a disaster relief fund but anticipates the needs of Harvey will far exceed those existing resources.
The Center for Disaster Philanthropy has also launched a Hurricane Harvey relief fund. The organization says its strategy emphasizes “investing well rather than investing quickly, addressing the greatest needs and gaps in funding that may be yet to emerge.”
GoFundMe, the social fundraising site, has created a landing page that gathers the campaigns on its platform related to Harvey.
The Salvation Army says it is providing food and water to first responders and preparing for massive feeding efforts for residents.
Send Relief and Southern Baptist Disaster Relief says its teams began responding before Harvey made landfall and continues on-the-ground relief work.
Samaritan’s Purse is accepting donations as well as volunteers for Harvey disaster relief for the coming months.
Coalition for the Homeless of Houston/Harris County coordinates the city’s response to homelessness, serving as “a backbone organization” to groups that offer direct service. It has been providing updated information on shelters with available beds.
Airbnb has set up an urgent accommodations site, where people can open their homes to evacuees from the storm or find shelter themselves. Service fees are waived for those who check in by Sept. 1.
A number of food banks will be aiding the affected region. Consider donating money instead of food, as it allows a food bank to use your donation most efficiently.
Feeding Texas is a statewide nonprofit that works alongside state and federal relief efforts. The organization says it steps in during major disasters to “coordinate with the state and other providers so that relief reaches families quickly and the ‘second disaster’ of an unorganized response is avoided.”
Here is its list of food banks in Texas likely to be affected by Harvey:
Food Bank of the Golden Crescent (Victoria)
Southeast Texas Food Bank (Beaumont)
Brazos Valley Food Bank (Bryan)
Central Texas Food Bank (Austin)
People With Disabilities
Portlight Strategies facilitates projects involving people with disabilities, including post-disaster relief work. The organization says its hotline for Inclusive Disaster Strategies has received urgent requests from people in need.
Save the Children is providing relief supplies and services to help children and families in shelters and other victims of Hurricane Harvey.
Austin Pets Alive! says it has transported more than 235 animals to its shelter. The organization seeks donations, as well as people who can adopt animals. It says it has received so many donated supplies that it’s running out of storage space, so financial donations are what it needs most.
Celebrities are also lending their support to the victims of Harvey — both financially and by leveraging their massive sphere of influence to inspire others.
Comedian Kevin Hart led the charge Sunday night, donating $25,000 and challenging his celebrity friends to donate to the Red Cross amid catastrophic flooding in the Lone Star State.
“I think we’ve participated in a lot of challenges on the Internet, some meaningful, some meaningless, but we’ve all done them. I’ve been a person that’s partaken in several of them,” Hart said in an Instagram video.
The deluge of support continued with country star Chris Young. “The Man I Want to Be” singer posted an emotional YouTube video about his certainty that his Texas home was destroyed and concern for his friends and family in the state. He donated $100,000 to relief efforts to a GoFundMe campaign to benefit the Red Cross.
Toronto native Drake, who has lived in Houston for the last eight years, said that he and DJ Future the Prince are working with local relief groups “to aid and assist the people of Texas in anyway we can and in the most immediate way possible.” Source: LA Times
Houston native Beyoncé has launched BeyGOOD Houston, a new initiative designed to help those affected by Hurricane Harvey. BeyGOOD is working with two local organizations: Bread of Life and Greater Houston Community Foundation. Donations will go towards long-term revitalization and the purchase of essential goods, such as cots, blankets, pillows, baby products, feminine products, wheelchairs, and more. BeyGOOD is Beyoncé’s charity initiative, created during the Mrs. Carter World Tour back in 2013. Source: Complex