Good morning, friends. We all wish we could magically heal the hearts of those suffering so immensely in Texas. It’s unfathomable and there is very long road ahead. I am so inspired by the countless images of volunteers jumping in to do good. It instantly puts life in perspective. I have rounded up some ways for us to help below. It’s a growing list and I will continue to add to it. I invite anyone that has first hand knowledge of Houston to add in the comments below. This is a team effort and we are all looking for the best ways to help.
I’ve watched this performance by Rascal Flatts three times and I can’t help but sob the entire time. If you haven’t seen it, it really is moving.
Most likely everything they now own is in that bag. Some were not able to even pack a bag. My heart is breaking and I am feeling desperate to help. Was texting my dear friend Megan about ways to help. Seems like donating money is the best option right now.
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 today (September 1). If you can get word of this to anyone you personally know and is looking for shelter this is an option.
You can easily text 90999 to the Red Cross to immediately donate $10. It takes no time at all. You’ll be prompted to confirm with an incoming text. Be patient as that can take some time.
Rebuild Texas Fund: Launched today. Michael and Susan Dell contributed $36 million to launch a fund wanting to raise $100M. For every $2 that everyone give over the holiday weekend, the Dells will donate an additional $1. They are committed to rebuilding Texas.
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.
Thank you to a wonderful reader, Kelly, who let me know about Austin Pets Alive. They have already rescued over 1,000 animals in the Houston area.
Unfortunately, the food banks are greatly affected. Here is a list of local food banks that will need more donations.
Food Bank of the Golden Crescent (Victoria)
Southeast Texas Food Bank (Beaumont)
Brazos Valley Food Bank (Bryan)
Central Texas Food Bank (Austin)
MORE WAYS TO HELP
If you are in the Houston area looking to help, my friend Megan told me that a call to George R Brown convention center (713) 853-8000 or to NRG Stadium (832) 667-1400 could be beneficial. They will have the most up to date information on what is needed. I am sure you have all seen that the needs are constantly changing.
Woodlands Church: I had a reader reach out with information on the Woodlands Church. This is near and dear to her heart as her family works there. They are trying to cover rent and utility costs for anyone displaced because of the hurricane. Please visit their website for more information.
HOUSTON MOMS BLOG
This is another trusted source that has put together ways to help. Please check out Houston Moms Blog.
If you are local, there is a drive going on this Saturday. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can give you more details.
*As always, please donate where you feel it is most beneficial. And always important to do your own research. I hope this is a good place for you to begin. Please feel free to add to this list in the comment section below.
I am sure we are all feeling the same way right now. Texas, we love you. Thank you to the selfless first responders and volunteers who continue to put their lives on the line to save lives and families. God bless you all.
It will take teamwork, compassion, endurance and support for a long time to come. Let’s band together and make it happen.