It’s been a scary week watching Hurricane Harvey drown Houston. My parents live there and as some of you may remember from last year, losing a house to a flood is all too familiar for my family. Exactly a year ago, my grandparents lost their house during the flooding in Baton Rouge. I never fully understood the gravity of what that meant until I was cleaning out what was left of their home of 40 years. I know the grueling process is just beginning for the people in Texas and now parts of Louisiana too, so I just want to urge everyone to do what you can-everything helps. I will never forget the kindness of random strangers and friends alike, it was the thing that kept us going during such a terrible loss. I’ve listed and linked some easy options for ways to help below.
I should also mention that I am so grateful to say that my parents and their home are safe for now, but to all of those effected please know that you are heavily in our thoughts and prayers. Sending you love and a really big hug.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott recommended that those who want to help victims should donate to the American Red Cross, which he called a “tremendous asset.” A quick and easy way to donate $10 is to text ‘HARVEY’ to 90999. The text will prompt you to enter your zip code and that’s it. Be patient. The text may take an hour or two to get back to you, but it will. If you want to donate a bigger amount (yay you!) just click here.
Local and national relief organizations
The Salvation Army, Save the Children, Southern Baptist Disaster Relief, Heart to Heart and Samaritan’s Purse are all on the ground in devastated areas and seeking donations to continue their response efforts. Texas Diaper Bank is sending out disaster relief kits to those affected. Team Rubicon is an emergency response team made up of military veterans and first responders. Oath offers matching funds for donations to the Red Cross and some other organizations.
Feeding Texas is a statewide network of food banks, and Houston Press has compiled a list of food banks serving the area hardest hit by Harvey. That list includes Houston Food Bank, Galveston County Food Bank, Food Bank of Corpus Christi and San Antonio Food Bank, among others.
To help nonhuman Texas residents, animal welfare organizations will be focused on rescuing, sheltering and rehoming pets. The Humane Society and the SPCA of Texas and their affiliated shelters will need money, supplies, food and foster volunteers.
Blood donations can be made through the American Red Cross, and Carter BloodCare, We Are Blood and the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center are all Texas-based organizations sure to be seeking increased donations.
Other relief efforts
Airbnb has set up an Urgent Accommodations page, allowing evacuees to find a place to stay for free with the help of those able to offer their space at no charge.
A list of individual crowdfunding campaigns related to the hurricane can be found at GoFundMe’s Hurricane Harvey Relief page. GlobalGiving, another crowdfunding site, is aiming to raise $2 million for a relief fund.
Most of the above organizations have volunteer opportunities available as well.
If you are in Houston or another effected area and have other needs that the Velvet’s Edge community can help with, please comment below and I will repost.