Here's how you can help the thousands of people affected by the devastating storm.
- Posted on Aug 28, 2017
Hurricane Harvey hit parts of Texas and Louisiana over the weekend, bringing strong winds and torrential amounts of rain to Houston and surrounding communities and coastal towns, but the damage isn’t done yet.
The Category 4 hurricane, which has now turned into a tropical storm, continues to move slowly across the Longhorn State, leaving devastation in its wake. With some areas expected to receive more than 50 inches of rainfall by midweek, and water levels continuing to rise along swamp and marsh areas in the region, residents left behind are struggling to find shelter and safety in the aftermath of the storm.
"Thank You all. Every book, magazine, and letter means a lot to us when we are away from home. It gives us hope, confidence, happiness, strength and pride that someone is there for us." - Former Navy Sailor, Part of Operation Gratitude
Tens of thousands of people have been left stranded by the storm. With their homes flooded and nowhere to go, many have been reaching out on social media for help and heading to mass shelters like the convention centers in Houston and Dallas.
Brock Long, an administrator for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), has asked all Americans to contribute what and where they can to help those recovering from the catastrophe.
“I’m asking for all citizens to get involved here,” Long told the New York Times. “Donate your money, figure out how you can get involved as we help Texas find a new normal going forward after this devastating disaster.”
Please note that several organizations have asked for monetary contributions instead of collected items. Some of the organizations do not have the space to store large numbers of donations and the needs may change over time.
If you’re looking to help, here is a list of local and national organizations on the ground in Texas that could use your donations.
Houston Food Bank
The Houston Food Bank is asking for cash or donations to help those affected by the storm. For every $1, the bank provides three meals to those in need. The Galveston County Food Bank and the Corpus Christi Bank are also seeking cash or donations.
South Texas Blood & Tissue Center
The South Texas Blood & Tissue Center is asking for donations to help those injured by the storm. You can visit their website to find a local blood drive currently operating.
SPCA of Texas
The SPCA of Texas is asking for monetary donations to help relocate and care for pets displaced during the storm. The organization is deploying staff, volunteers, and supplies to support evacuees housed at the mega shelter opening in Dallas and working with city and county disaster officials to care for the pets of evacuees. The Houston Humane Society and the San Antonio Humane Society are also asking for donations or volunteers to help foster animals in the area affected by the storm.
United Way of Greater Houston
The United Way is asking for donations online with the money being used to shelter and basic needs to those affected by the storm.
Save The Children
Save the Children has set up a relief fund for kids and families impacted by Hurricane Harvey.
Trusted World is a local nonprofit in Dallas working with larger relief agencies. They’re asking for supplies to help stock city recreation centers serving as emergency shelters. They need diapers, baby wipes, toiletries, feminine hygiene products, and nonperishable food including baby formula. The only clothing items that are needed at this time are packs of underwear and socks. You can find more, including a list of drop off sites on their Facebook page.
City of Dallas
The City of Dallas is asking for volunteers. If you’re in the area and haven’t been affected by the storm, you can register online to help evacuees at designated recreation centers.
As always, be diligent in your research of any charities asking for donations following natural disasters like the one in Texas. When in doubt, consult watchdog agencies like Charity Navigator or Better Business Bureau's Wise Giving Alliance.
On Monday morning, the weekly Guideposts' Prayer Fellowship group prayed for those affected by the storm. Click here to submit your prayer request for Houston.