It is the worst storm Texas has seen in 50 years. So many hugs, Texas neighbor! I have friends in Houston who I know are Texas tough, like this guy:
I compiled a listing of ways to help after Hurricane Harvey for my news organization. I’m going to share it here, too. In the mean time, I’m going to check in with the local Cystic Fibrosis Foundation chapters to see if there are any Houston-area CF families in need!
Here are a few ways you can help:
Oklahoma organizations providing relief for Hurricane Harvey victims
Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief is accepting donations
Texas organizations providing Harvey relief
Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund, an initiative of Houston’s mayor being administered by the Greater Houston Community Foundation, is accepting donations.
To give to the United Way Flood Relief Fund, visit unitedwayhouston.org/flood or text UWFLOOD to 41444.
Help for people with disabilities
Portlight Strategies helps those with disabilities find disaster relief and reports that its hotline has been overwhelmed.
The Texas Diaper Bank is accepting donations for incontinence supplies at its website.
Help for Texas pets
The Humane Society of the United States is accepting disaster relief donations. It also lists local shelters in need, like the Houston Humane Society.
The San Antonio Humane Society has created a disaster relief fund called Harvey’s Heroes for pets. The fund aims to offset expenses to help shelter pet evacuees and strays affected by Hurricane Harvey.
Help for babies and children
The Texas Diaper Bank is accepting donations for diapers at this website.
National organizations providing relief
To donate by phone or to get assistance with your donation, please contact us at 1-800-HELP NOW (1-800-435-7669).
You can also text HARVEY to 90999 to donate $10.
To donate by check or to a specific cause, please download an online donation form, print and send with a check to:
American Red Cross
PO Box 37839
Boone, IA 50037-0839
Team Rubicon, military veterans helping in crisis.
Be wary as hell about scammers
The national organizations on this list were vetted by CharityWatch.org, which reminds potential donors:
As with any charitable contribution, Americans wanting to help with disaster relief efforts should only give to legitimate charities with an established track record of helping people in need.
People need to be on guard concerning the surge of solicitations related to any highly publicized crisis. There will be fraudulent charity solicitations, some involving websites and email links attempting to steal your credit card information for identity theft or insert malware on your computer.
Social media will include many fake victims. Do not donate to unknown individuals that purport to need aid that post on Facebook, GoFundMe, Generosity by Indiegogo, etc. These may be fraudsters, and even if they are legitimate victims, they may receive an unfairly large amount of aid.
SEND A CHECK, NOT GOODS
The best way to help is by sending a check. Cash donations enable charities to buy the most needed types of food, medicine, clothing, shelter materials and other supplies. By buying relief products locally or regionally, charities can reduce shipping costs and more rapidly deliver assistance. Before sending any goods, first contact the charity to find out if they are appropriate and if it will be cost effective to distribute them. For example, after a tsunami in the Pacific, boxes of donated winter coats, scarves and fuzzy hats, completely useless items in tsunami-stricken nations with tropical climates, were sent to these nations.
CharityWatch identifies the following charities, which are providing relief to Hurricane Harvey victims, that receive an “A” or “B+” grade based on the portion of their budget going to program services and their fundraising efficiency. Contact the organizations below for information on specific relief operations now underway.