Hurricane Harvey, a Category 4 hurricane, has caused massive destruction in Houston and other parts of Texas. Tens of thousands of families have had their homes destroyed and their lives upended by the torrential rains and flooding. It’s hard to imagine that kind of storm here in Southern California, but that doesn’t mean we can’t help out. Here is a list of many different ways you can help.
For many, the American Red Cross is the organization they think of when it comes to providing disaster relief efforts. The Red Cross is accepting monetary donations online (minimum amount of $10). Donations are used to provide hot meals, safe shelter, and health care.
According to the Texas Diaper Bank, diapers are not provided by disaster relief agencies. Families who have fled their homes are in desperate need of diapers and wipes. Monetary donations can be made online (you can contribute once or make it a weekly or monthly donation). Diapers can also be shipped to 5415 Bandera Rd. Suite 504, San Antonio, TX 78238.
Next time you’re picking up your daily latte, you can also make a donation at Starbucks that will go directly to the American Red Cross. (The Starbucks Foundation has already donated $250,000 towards Hurricane Harvey Relief efforts).
Save the Children states that over 3 million children are under Flash Food Emergency. These children are in desperate need of essential supplies (diapers, hygiene materials), as well as child-friendly spaces (cribs, changing tables), and things to do while in shelters. Monetary donations may be made online.
If you’re unable to make a monetary donation, you can still help those affected by Hurricane Harvey by donating blood. “All blood collection agencies in the U.S. are making every effort to meet the emergency blood needs of patients and ensure a sufficient blood supply in storm affected areas.” While all donations are welcome, those with Type O blood are especially needed. (Type O blood can safely be transfused to most patients with other blood types). Check the website to make an appointment with one of the participating organizations.
United Way branches across the state of Texas need our help. So many communities have been impacted to Hurricane Harvey and long after the storm leaves, the devastation remains. “United Way’s first priority will be safety, shelter and basic needs, like food.” Donate online to assist the several branches of United Way in Texas that are assisting families impacted by Harvey.
Families can make a donation to the American Red Cross through Apple’s iTunes store. Donations range from $5 to $200 and will go directly to the Red Cross. (Apple has already donated $2 million to the American Red Cross).
While you’re doing your banking, spend an extra minute at the ATM to contribute to the relief efforts. Donations go directly to the American Red Cross, and Wells Fargo customers are not charged a fee for this service. (Wells Fargo has already donated $1 million to assist with Hurricane Harvey Relief efforts).
The Salvation Army has a long history of being on the “front lines” of relief efforts. Their disaster teams have mobilized and will remain in Texas after many other response efforts are over helping to support “long-term disaster recovery efforts and providing ongoing assistance to those in need.” Monetary donations can be made online as a one-time contribution or on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis.
“Americares saves lives and improves health for people affected by poverty or disaster so they can reach their full potential.” Americares is now in Texas providing emergency medicine, distributing water, mobilizing medical outreach, and more. With so many displaced, many are without the medicines they usually rely on to get through each day (including asthma medication, blood pressure medication, and insulin for diabetic patients). Donations can be made online.
For those of you on Facebook, this may be the easiest way to help those affected by Harvey. Every time Kroger’s Facebook post is shared, Kroger will donate $5 to the Houston Food Bank (up to $100,000).
Families can make donations to the American Red Cross through Amazon. Or, if you’d prefer, you can purchase needed items from the Red Cross Wish List. These items are critically needed and help those in emergency shelters.
For ways to give directly to agencies in Houston, visit the Houston Chronicles article on how to help victims of the Texas storm.