Food. Water. Shelter. Animal Rescue. Diapers. Medical needs. Housing. So many ways to help! Take a moment to learn about a variety organizations that need your support in helping with disaster relief in Texas.
The impulse to collect food, clothing, blankets, hygiene items and the like to help those flooded out of their homes in Texas and Louisiana is an honest one that comes from the heart. We want to help when we see suffering and we want to do something when we feel helpless. The reality, though, is that the organizations working in disaster relief don’t have the time or the manpower to collect, sort and distribute STUFF we donate. Unless they ask.
Instead, you can choose an agency working in an area that means something to you. Kids, Pets, Food. Or the disabled. By choosing a cause that speaks to your heart, you will be doing a GOOD thing with your resources!
Check out this comprehensive list of agencies who are helping on the ground right now. They need your financial support of any amount!
Every one of these agencies needs MONEY to do their work. Money to buy the supplies that organized networks of disaster relief organizations know they need. These items then go go where they need when they need it. They can also get more for that $5 than you can. What the general public doesn’t always realize is that there are systems in place, and unscheduled but well intentioned truckloads of stuff may not have a place to go. They may just be in the way, and often, items get thrown away. Fortunately, that kind of waste can be avoided if people find an organization whose work they can support financially in good conscience.
Below are a few organizations that aren’t as well known as the big ones. They have targeted groups of people they are helping and often have smaller overheads than the big guys. They will take your donation electronically and it will get into the relief system to help those in need. Choose from disaster relief ministries that have low or no overhead because it is run by volunteers only after the disaster. You can also give online directly to a food bank that is local in Texas or choose a pet rescue organization to support. If there isn’t something here that speaks to your heart, it shouldn’t take much digging to find something else.
These organizations will be helping for weeks and months to come. Links are below.
Ministries. Here are a few to choose from. If you’re not sure, call your place of worship and ask what program your faith organization is supporting.
Supporting Local Organizations who are already there and organized.
Local food banks: The Houston Press has compiled a list of food banks in the affected areas. They recommend contacting a food bank directly about their need and what you can do. Many can take online donations. They will feeding displaced persons for a long time.
Houston Food Bank
Galveston Food Bank
Food Bank of the Golden Crescent (Victoria)
Corpus Christi Food Bank
Southeast Texas Food Bank (Beaumont)
Food Bank of the Rio Grande Valley (Pharr)
Brazos Valley Food Bank (Bryan)
Central Texas Food Bank (Austin)
San Antonio Food Bank
Local for babies: The Texas Diaper Bank is rounding up diapers now because they know the relief trucks don’t always have space for boxes of diapers, and we all know how important those are to daily survival!
Local for special and medial needs persons: Helping people with special needs is its own crisis. Portlight, which has provided inclusive relief to people with disabilities for twenty years—including in Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy—is working to ensure that people who require medical equipment and assistive technology have what they need after they evacuate, and to make sure that those same folks are able to get to safety. They accept donations via PayPal. Also for medications: Direct Relief USA offers prescription drugs and other medical supplies to those who need it in emergency situations. They work with clinics and primary care doctors to ensure that people are able to get what they need when they need it. They’re accepting financial contributions.
The Driscoll Children’s Hospital in Corpus Christi weathered the storm well, never losing power. It’s accepting financial donations now, and if you live in the area and want to help, you can also donate blood. They serve a large area, and people from many affected parts of the coast are likely to need their services.
Local for Animals: Houston Humane Society is helping marshal care and shelter for pets in the area. You can give here. The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of Texas is undertaking similar efforts. You can give here. The San Antonio Humane Society is doing the same. More here.
Local for housing: In Dallas, Trusted World is operating three shelters for evacuees. They need donations, supplies (clean clothing, non-perishable food, toiletries, diapers, and baby formula), and volunteers to help sort out the things that people have dropped off. The Houston Coalition for the Homeless is facilitating shelter for homeless people in Houston, including offering up-to-date information about which shelters currently have space, who’s the best fit for each one, and how to get there safely. They’re accepting financial donations to continue their work.
AirBNB: The hospitality company is working to coordinate people in need of a place to stay with people willing to offer a free room. More information here.
These are other disaster relief organizations and efforts that are on the ground helping.
American Red Cross: This is probably the most well known organization for disaster aid. Their networks are local, and plan to provide shelters for those displaced by Harvey. Plus they can deploy volunteers on the ground in the state. You can give here.
All Hands: This non-profit has staff on the ground in Texas, and is in contact with emergency management officials about assisting in the response and recovery. You can give here.
Americares: The non-profit focused on medicine and health is seeking to provide emergency medical supplies and other basic resources to first responders and others in Texas. You can give here.
The GOOD news is that as a nation we are kind, compassionate and giving when there is suffering after a crisis, like a weather emergency that wipes out the homes of our fellow Americans. We can do our best giving when we research where our resources go to be sure our efforts will truly make a difference. Our thoughts, wishes and prayers go out to the people of Texas and Louisiana who are dealing with flood waters.