This past week Hurricane Harvey took Houston, and many other parts of Texas, quite literally by storm when it made landfall as a category four hurricane. You can turn on any news channel at any given time and see videos of the destruction that the storm has caused. Homes destroyed, belongings lost, many are struggling to even meet the basic needs of day to day living. With an estimated 450,000 qualifying for federal flood victim assistance, it can be hard to know where to start when you want to help those affected. Here’s a quick breakdown of different ways to make a difference.
- Make a Monetary Donation.
This is the easiest way to directly impact the relief effort, however always be sure to research before donating to any charity. I did some research myself and went directly to the FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) website. From FEMA I was directed to NVOAD, the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters, where you can find a whole bunch of links to various charities that are active in the relief effort. The Charity Navigator is also a great place to link up with reputable charities aiding the relief effort, as well as the Greater Houston Community Foundation, a public charity who has been serving the people of Houston for the past twenty years.
- Donate Supplies.
For anyone who is in the Central Massachusetts area, the town of Templeton is currently collecting donations of various non-perishable items and personal hygiene products to send down on a trailer set to leave September 7th, 2017. You can see the full list of items they’re looking for here, and donations can be dropped off at the Templeton Senior Center during open business hours. Another way you can donate goods is by mailing diapers to the Texas Diaper Bank, you can mail diaper donations to 5415 Bandera Rd , Suite 504, San Antonia, Texas, 78238 or you can use there amazon wish list to send donations from out of state.
- Volunteer Your Time.
There are plenty of organizations looking for people of all talents and skill levels to help with the relief effort, from donating blood to helping with cleanup efforts, there are many volunteer opportunities available. Samaritans Purse is currently looking for volunteers to assist in the cleanup effort of damaged homes, where as the Texas SPCA is in need of foster families for pets displaced due to the tragedy. The Red Cross is also currently taking volunteers for health and mental health professionals to deploy to assist in the aiding of those impacted by the disaster, and you can find out more regarding those opportunities by downloading the flyer located here.
My thoughts are with those effected by Hurricane Harvey and I hope that as a country we can come together to show just how united we are. There are many other resources and organizations not mentioned in this article that are working towards the relief effort in Texas and the impacted areas, so if you know of any other organizations who were not mentioned, feel free to share in the comments section below.