How To Help Those Affected By Hurricane Harvey

Sep 1, 2017

Hurricane Harvey made landfall on August 25, destroying property in Rockport and Port Aransas. Shortly afterward, its turn to the east dumped record amounts of rainfall on Houston and southeast Texas.

At least 100,000 homes were affected by the storm, and many are asking how they can help families whose lives have been upended by the storm.

Below is a list of some of the organizations that are undertaking this work and how you can contribute to them. Is there something we should add? Email reception@tpr.org to let us know.

NPR and TPR are not endorsing or vouching for any of these groups. Please take care to research any charity before donating. One place to start is Charity Navigator.

Local Events

Texas Strong 5K, organized by Sikh Center of San Antonio. November 5, 8:00 a.m., at San Antonio Zoo. 100% of proceeds to victims of Harvey. 210-316-0344, or TXStrong5K@gmail.com

General Relief

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner established a Harvey relief fund at The Greater Houston Community Foundation. The organization connects donors with a network of nonprofits and innovative solutions in the social sector.

GlobalGiving, which calls itself the largest global crowdfunding community, has a goal of raising $2 million for its Harvey relief fund. Funds will be used first for immediate needs of food, water and shelter and then transition to long-term recovery efforts.

United Way of Greater Houston has launched a relief fund for storm-related needs and recovery. The organization says it already maintains a disaster relief fund but anticipates the needs of Harvey will far exceed those existing resources.

Rebuild Texas has a goal of $100 million for Harvey relief, of which Michael and Susan Dell have committed $36 million dollars. 

JJ Watt's Houston Relief Fund is aiming to raise $20 million, and as of this writing, is already 3/4 of the way there.

The Center for Disaster Philanthropy has also launched a Hurricane Harvey relief fund. The organization says its strategy emphasizes "investing well rather than investing quickly, addressing the greatest needs and gaps in funding that may be yet to emerge."

GoFundMe, the social fundraising site, has created a landing page that gathers the campaigns on its platform related to Harvey.

The Salvation Army says it is providing food and water to first responders and preparing for massive feeding efforts for residents.

Send Relief and Southern Baptist Disaster Relief says its teams began responding before Harvey made landfall and continues on-the-ground relief work.

Samaritan's Purse is accepting donations as well as volunteers for Harvey disaster relief for the coming months.

Reach Out World Wide is a team of volunteers who first organized following earthquakes in Haiti, and are now assisting with Hurricane Harvey.

Medical

Direct Relief is providing funding and emergency health kits to community health centers in Texas. The contents of the health kits are based on the organization's experience in previous hurricanes, and include items such as insulin, asthma inhalers, and anti-hypertensive medication.

The American Kidney Fund has set up a disaster relief fund to help dialysis patients affected by the storm.

In addition to the American Red Cross, local organizations accepting blood donations are Carter BloodCare and the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center.

Shelter

Coalition for the Homeless of Houston/Harris County coordinates the city's response to homelessness, serving as "a backbone organization" to groups that offer direct service. It has been providing updated information on shelters with available beds.

Airbnb has set up an urgent accommodations site, where people can open their homes to evacuees from the storm or find shelter themselves. Service fees are waived for those who check in by Sept. 1.

Food

A number of food banks will be aiding the affected region. Consider donating money instead of food, as it allows a food bank to use your donation most efficiently.

Feeding Texas is a statewide nonprofit that works alongside state and federal relief efforts. The organization says it steps in during major disasters to "coordinate with the state and other providers so that relief reaches families quickly and the 'second disaster' of an unorganized response is avoided."

Here is its list of food banks in Texas likely to be affected by Harvey:

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

People With Disabilities

Portlight Strategies facilitates projects involving people with disabilities, including post-disaster relief work. The organization says its hotline for Inclusive Disaster Strategies has received urgent requests from people in need.

Kids

Save the Children is providing relief supplies and services to help children and families in shelters and other victims of Hurricane Harvey.

The Texas Diaper Bank, based in San Antonio, works to meet the basic needs of vulnerable babies, children with disabilities, and seniors. It focuses on providing partner agencies with diapers and goods.

Animals

The SPCA of Texas is organizing evacuations of pets in Texas (including 123 cats from a shelter in Corpus Christi) and offers resources on pet-friendly housing for evacuees.

Austin Pets Alive! says it has transported more than 235 animals to its shelter. The organization seeks donations, as well as people who can adopt animals. It says it has received so many donated supplies that it's running out of storage space, so financial donations are what it needs most.