It’s been days since Hurricane Harvey engulfed Houston. We watched alongside many as waters rose and our homes, schools, and businesses were threatened, but with the water arose heroes. As many protected their own belongings they also found ways to help others in greater need. There was a mixed feeling of fear and pride. Social media posts shared images of heroism and sacrifice while those who lost so much had the same sentiment: it’s just a house or a car or whatever, we have our life. That wasn’t true for everyone but the loss of life was minimal compared to what it could have been.
Resilience and strength is a Texas thing, and we’re proud to be a part of it. But, now what? Now we rebuild, stronger and better than before like a phoenix rising from the ashes. Okay, maybe not that dramatic but you’ve seen that story and you know what we mean.
Rebuilding lives, homes, neighborhoods, and infrastructures is a long process. We’re just getting started and we accept that. If, where, and how you help is a personal decision. Some commit time, others provide skills, supplies or money. We’ve curated a list of charitable opportunities to cover a wide audience but there are so many organizations, consider carefully how you can contribute if you haven’t already. And, checkout www.charitynavigator.org if you’d like to research types and ratings for many longstanding organizations.
Disclaimer: We are not endorsing any of these events or their views. This is simply a list to consider. Please check with any organization to assure their mission aligns with yours, and confirm their current needs, involvement and activities.
Direct Relief Efforts:
The CITY OF HOUSTON HURRICANE RELIEF FUND was started by Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and accepts tax deductible donations for flood relief victims. For donation instructions, click here
DIRECT RELIEF sends health supplies to areas in need after emergencies. To donate, click here
GLOBAL GIVING is a crowdfunding site that provides relief to survivors by supplying food, supplies, water, medicine, and long-term recovery efforts to help rebuild. To donate, click here
The HAND IN HAND fund was started by local Houston rapper Bun B, and is now accepting online donations after a televised event raised over $14 million dollars with celebrities performing and answering phone banks. To donate, click here
HEART TO HEART INTERNATIONAL focuses on delivering supplies, water, and health kits to affected areas. To donate, click here
The HOUSTON FLOOD RELIEF FUND was started by Houston Texans star J.J. Watt, and over $33 million has already been raised by the online fundraiser. To donate, click here
The JEWISH FAMILY SERVICE OF HOUSTON is a nonprofit that provides services including mental health and support counseling. They are now accepting donations to help the immediate needs of those affected by the Hurricane. To donate, click here
THE SALVATION ARMY provides physical, emotional and spiritual care to relief workers and survivors.
The UNITED WAY OF GREATER HOUSTON’s first focus is on shelter relief including basic needs like food, followed by long-term recovery efforts. The organization has said that it will absorb all of its administrative costs, so 100% of donations goes straight to relief efforts. To donate, click here
The HOUSTON FOOD BANK helps provide support and hot meals to those in need during emergencies and throughout the entire year. To donate, click here
INTERFAITH MINISTRIES is a nonprofit that operates the city's Meals on Wheels program and is in need of financial donations and additional volunteers. The most needed donations include walkers, wheelchairs, shower chairs, microwaves, and Ensure. Donations can be dropped off at Meals on Wheels, 3202 San Jacinto, 77004. To learn more, click here.
The HOUSTON FURNITURE BANK is providing furniture to families in need after the storm. They are currently looking for furniture, especially mattresses, and tables and chairs, as well as monetary donations, and volunteers to help.
BEST FRIENDS is raising money to help reunite pets with their families, provide food and services to the animals, and help Texas and Florida animal shelters rebuild. To donate, click here
CITIZENS FOR ANIMAL PROTECTION is taking donations to help support the Hurricane Harvey relief efforts for the animals of Houston. To donate, click here
The HOUSTON HUMANE SOCIETY is raising money for all of the animals locally that need help after the storm.
The SPCA OF TEXAS is raising money to help with displaced pets and animals who need food and shelter. To donate, click here
MUSIC RISING is a foundation that was started by The Edge from U2 to raise money for instruments for schools and musicians that lost everything during the Hurricane. To donate, Click here
The PODCAST PACK is a selection of exclusive shows from over 40 different podcasts, for a minimum of $10. Spearheaded by a local podcaster, 25% of everything earned will go directly to local Houston area podcasters who were severely affected by the storm. The other 75% will be donated to Mayor Turner's Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund.
The HARVEY RELIEF HUB was started by Houstonians wanting to volunteer after Hurricane Harvey. It is located just north of downtown at 2500 Summer Street. Volunteers sign up for shifts or can stop by from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day.
The GULF COAST REGIONAL BLOOD CENTER provides blood to local medical facilities. For more information and a list of blood drives, click here
Let’s also not forget our neighbors outside of Houston, many of whom suffered worse than Houston, as well as our friends in Florida, South Carolina, Georgia, the Caribbean and all of the other areas recovering from the impact of Hurricane Irma.