How you can help Hurricane Harvey survivors

Kate Winkle, KXAN/Raquel Nicora, WRIC
Published: August 28, 2017, 5:54 pm | Updated: August 29, 2017, 7:22 am

AUSTIN (KXAN/WRIC) — Hurricane Harvey made landfall between the Port of Aransas and Port O’Connor at around 10 p.m. Central Time Friday night as a Category 4 hurricane.

Winds of 130 mph rushed into the state and the storm has affected over six million Texas residents since then. Historic flooding has been a major issue for the Houston area, causing the National Weather Service to call this event “unprecedented.”

FEMA is already estimating 450,000 people will apply for disaster assistance.

Although the storm has downgraded to a tropical storm with winds of 40 mph, the Houston area could see over another foot of rain by Thursday.

There are plenty of charities and organizations providing relief efforts to the victims in Texas. Before you decide to give, be sure to do some research on the organization you plan to donate to. You may also want to consider donating to organizations that focus on particularly vulnerable groups such as children, seniors, those with disabilities, and even pets.

The fastest and most effective way to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey is through monetary donations, although blood donations and volunteers are also needed.

Here are some suggestions on how you can get involved with Hurricane Harvey relief efforts:

All Hands

All Hands is a non-profit organization that is working with local emergency management in Texas to coordinate their services and needs. They are accepting donations and are looking for volunteers to help with their relief efforts. Click here to find out more.

American Red Cross

You can donate to the Red Cross by going to its website, calling 1-800-HELP NOW (1-800-435-7669) or texting 90999 to donate $10. The money goes toward recovery efforts.

Give Now

Grab your phone
Text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10 now.

Or, Donate Online

Donate to the Red Cross online here.

If you’d like to help in your community, find your local chapter of the Red Cross online and ask what you can do to support its work. Some may not be prepared to accept donations or coordinate volunteer efforts, so check first before taking action.

Local Texas Organizations

The city of Houston has also established a Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund. People can donate online at www.ghcf.org, or send checks or money orders to Greater Houston Community Foundation, 5120 Woodway Drive, Suite 6000, Houston, TX 77056.

“We are getting calls from across the country and right here in our hometown, and the generosity of people who understand this disaster is truly amazing,” Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said. “Together we can make a difference to those who will need extensive help to get back on their feet once this storm is over.”

Feeding Texas

Feeding Texas has a list of local food banks that have been impacted by Harvey including the Houston Food Bank, Galveston County Food Bank, and the Corpus Christi Food Bank. You may want to contact the local food bank first to find out their needs and what you can do.

Global Giving

Global Giving is a crowdfunding website that has set up a Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund. The fund focuses on raising $2 million to provide food, hygiene products, shelter, and to support longer-term recovery efforts in the area. As of Monday afternoon, they have raised over $300,000.

Heart to Heart International

Heart to Heart International has been supplying water, food, shelter and health/hygiene kits to those affected by Hurricane Harvey. You can read about their relief efforts and make a donation by clicking here.

Portlight Strategies

Portlight Strategies is an organization that provides post-disaster relief work for people with disabilities. The organization says their Hurricane Harvey Disability Hotline has received urgent calls for “assistance for people with disabilities and older adults”. If you know someone in Texas with disabilities in need of relief, their number is 1-(800)-626-4959. For more information or to make a donation, click here.

Animal Shelters

Pets and animals will likely be displaced over the next several days due to the flooding in Texas. If you are looking to support or even adopt animals in need of care, consider the SPCA of Texas, Austin Pets Alive!, Dallas Animal Services and the San Antonio Humane Society.

Save the Children

Save the Children is specifically working to respond to the families with children affected by Hurricane Harvey. On their website, they say a donation of $100 can secure a crib for a child in a shelter, provide safe spaces in shelters for children, and other family-friendly services.

Volunteer

Many organizations are asking for volunteers to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey. This would include distributing supplies and provide aid in shelters. The Salvation Army, the American Red Cross, and Samaritan’s Purse are all organizations looking for volunteers to help support victims in Texas. The American Red Cross is also searching specifically for disaster mental health volunteers to support people with disaster related health and mental health needs.

If you are an organization in Virginia planning to aid Hurricane Harvey survivors, feel free to email us at news@wric.com.