The record-breaking storm that has hit the Texas coastline put thousands out of their homes and in need of support. These local and national organizations are stepping up to meet their needs.
As news and images of the destruction from Hurricane Harvey continue to come in, it's clear that Americans are looking for ways to help. In an effort to find organizations most directly connected to local needs, we turned to our friends at Texas Monthly, who have identified organizations that are working swiftly and efficiently to meet the ever-growing needs from the flooding. Read on to learn more about the work of these organizations, and to find out how you can donate.
To Help Kids
Families with small children and infants face heightened vulnerability during disasters. The Texas Diaper Bank seeks to ease the burden on these families through providing access to clean diapers. The organization accepts online donations and recently added an Amazon Wish List of diaper sizes needed most.
Driscoll Children’s Hospital in Corpus Christi managed to keep power during Harvey’s torrential downpour, and hospital staff coordinated a safe transfer of seven babies from the neonatal intensive care unit to Dell Children’s in Austin. Donations can be made online to support the coastal hospital during this trying time.
To Help Animals
Send love towards the furry friends affected by Hurricane Harvey by donating to the ASPA of Texas—they’re prepared to take in 300 affected animals if needed. You can also ease their burden by signing up to foster an animal.
The Austin Pets Alive! animal shelter has already transported 235 animals to its shelter, but needs donations and foster families to continue its work. If you’re in the surrounding area, Austin Pets Alive! is in most need of food storage bins, brooms, cat litter, and liquid laundry soap.
Related: 10 Most Disastrous Hurricanes in U.S. History
To Help People With Medical Needs
Portlight specializes in inclusive disaster strategies, ensuring no victim is denied services. Donate online to ensure Hurricane Harvey victims are provided disability-related accommodations, sign language interpreters, durable medical equipment and other life-saving services.
After learning lessons from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita over a decade ago, workers at Direct Relief USA have tackled emergency stockpile preparedness head on. The national organization ensures prescription drugs and medical supplies are available even in the midst of disasters, and you can donate here.
To Provide Food
Food banks provide an irreplaceable service in feeding families not just during the disaster, but also while they work to get back on their feet. The Houston Press has assembled a list of food banks in and around Houston, and Feeding Texas coordinates a statewide network of foodbanks (they also are accepting donations towards Hurricane Harvey food relief).
To Help People Who Are Homeless
On its website, the Houston Coalition for the Homeless lists homeless and community shelter lists and whom each shelter best serves. To help the coalition provide this much-needed service, donations are best made through The Way Home—just $100 equips a newly housed family with a full set of kitchen supplies.
To Help People Who Are Displaced
In activating the Disaster Response Program, Airbnb has already facilitated more than 150 listings for evacuees in San Antonio, Austin, Dallas, and surrounding areas. All booking fees are waived, meaning displaced people have a safe, dry place to stay with a friendly face. If you’re in the surrounding area of the hurricane’s path, you can list your space here.
Trusted World is currently operating three shelters for evacuees in Dallas, and is in most need of non-perishable foods, toiletries, feminine hygiene products and moving boxes. You can also sign up to volunteer, or donate money online.
Channeling the power of online fundraising campaigns, Global Giving has set out to raise $2 million, and has already raised $366,554. The money will support recovery and relief efforts, then funds will transition to long term recovery efforts (an often overlooked aspect of disaster relief funding).