Helping Victims of Hurricane Harvey
"A very significant disaster"
On Friday, August 25, Harvey, a category four hurricane slammed into the Texas coast bringing 130 MPH winds and intense rain. The City of Rockport received the brunt of the force, but many towns from Houston to Corpus Cristi have been severely affected. Damage is estimated to be in the billions; thousands of people will be without homes, proper clothing and food.
FEMA chief Brook Long considers Harvey "a very significant disaster" and has his agency working quickly to bring relief. The Texas National Guard, along with many other government and private organizations will also be assisting in the relief efforts.
Days of torrential rain have continued to bring record level flooding to the Houston area and parts of Louisiana, greatly multiplying the damage brought on by Harvey's initial landfall. The disaster is being considered the worst in the U.S. since Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
While many people and agencies are already committed to helping victims, the severity and scope of the disaster calls for nationwide support. This article outlines just some of the ways that people can help by making monetary and physical donations, giving blood, and volunteering.
Financial support of non-profit organizations fuels their ability to purchase necessary supplies and equipment as they respond to the Harvey. All of the following organizations are providing direct support to victims.
The American Red Cross - donate
Samaritans Purse - donate
Feeding Texas - donate
Breedlove Food - donate
Salvation Army - donate
Greater Houston Community Foundation - donate
Austin Disaster Relief Network - donate
Catholic Charities - donate
Texans can make donations in person. Non perishable food, good clothing, toiletries, and other essential items can be given to food banks, relief organizations, and temporary shelters in Texas to provide immediate support to victims. Be sure to get more info and understand the actual needs of each organization before bringing donations. Food banks and organizations outside of Texas are also helping; the Indianapolis Division of the Midwest Food Bank is a great example.
Food banks for in-person donations:
Houston Food Bank - more info
Galveston Food Bank - more info
Corpus Christi Food Bank - more info
Southeast Texas Food Bank (Beaumont) - more info
Central Texas Food Bank (Austin) - more info
San Antonio Food Bank - more info
A larger list of Texas food banks can be found at the Houston Press.
Donating Items to Shelters Providing Temporary Relief to Evacuees and Animals:
In Dallas, the Dallas County VOAD is looking for donations of non perishable food, clothing in good condition, toiletries, and hygiene items. Donations should be delivered to a donation center on 15660 N. Dallas Parkway which is open 8am - 6pm daily.
In San Antonio, a food bank is requesting donations of diapers, baby food and formula, and water. Gifts can be dropped-off at the San Antonio Food Bank located on 5200 Enrique M. Barerra Parkway.
In Austin, Austin Pets Alive is collecting donations of pet supplies. Their top needs include liquid laundry soap, leashes, and cat litter. Click here for a more exhaustive list of needs and more information.
How do you plan to help out?
How do you plan to help out?
Volunteers are desperately needed. Those interested in donating their time can find more information about a number of organizations in need of help. Donate your time at a shelter, food bank, or with an organization providing clean-up and rebuilding services. A few options are listed below, but conducting a web search of opportunities in the local area is also a good idea.
Red Cross (many volunteer opportunities) - volunteer registration
Samaritan's Purse (clean up relief and rebuilding) - more info
A shelter at Second Baptist Church in La Grange, TX is seeking volunteers and staff. They are located at 1010 N. Von Minden, La Grange, TX 78945.
Convey of Hope Disaster Services is looking for volunteers who live within two hours of the affected areas - sign up
Salvation Army - more info
Austin Pets Alive - more info
Thanks for Helping!
Please keep victims, first responders, and volunteers in your prayers!