The effects of Hurricane Harvey… it’s bad. I can’t find the words to describe how hard and heavy it hit and has directly affected millions of lives. And yes, it’s going to affect your life too. Maybe you know people directly affected, or if nothing else you better expect the price of gasoline and other petroleum-based products to rise. Houston’s a major city, and it being out of commission for weeks, for months, it’s going to be felt around the world.
The sooner we all pull together as Americans (and a world) to help our brothers and sisters get back on their feet, the better off we all will be.
So how can you help?
I put out a call, and friends, friends of friends, responded with a listing. This list is by no means comprehensive, it’s just a place to start. I cannot vouch for any entry on this list. The list is in no particular order. Please do your homework to ensure the group is one you want your money to go to. You can use a website like Charity Navigator to help you vet a group. Note that while Houston has been grabbing the headlines (and rightly so), coastal cities like Rockport and Port Aransas are devastated. Many smaller towns throughout south and east Texas have been hit hard by flooding. And many places in Texas that weren’t so harshly affected, like Austin, are receiving those escaping the flooding (including many pets and animals).
- American Red Cross
- Food for the Poor
- The Salvation Army
- A listing from Texas Monthly magazine
- Another listing, from the Houston Chronicle
- And another listing, from CBS News
- Catholic Charities of Central Texas
- Catholic Charities of Galveston-Houston
- Austin Disaster Relief Network
- Texas A&M Veterinary Emergency Team
- Team Rubicon
- George R. Brown Emergency Center
- BARC (a Houston animal shelter)
- Austin Pets Alive
- Austin Wildlife Rescue
- Rescued Pets Movement
- Friends for Life Animal Rescue, Houston
- Communities Foundation of Texas
- Texas Baptist Men Disaster Relief
- Samaritan’s Purse
If you’re wondering what to give?
I know that feels impersonal, but it’s really the best option. Here’s a CBS News article that explains exactly why donating goods doesn’t always help, but money does. Yes, sometimes donating stuff helps. For example, when buses of evacuees arrived in Austin at the Toney Burger Center, it was suddenly hundreds of men, women, and children with nothing. Upon their arrival, donations of stuff like books, diapers, playing cards, clothing, toothbrushes, soap, towels, etc. can be useful. But after that, it can turn into a glut of supplies that cannot be used.
The donation of money allows those on the front-lines to provide for what’s best and actually needed. They know what they need, let them make the decisions. It’s the wisest way to help.
And remember: we’re all going to help in this immediate aftermath. But the pains and needs will go on for weeks, even months. Consider what you can do to provide ongoing help.
Finally, thank you for doing whatever you can do to help.