The first Category 4 storm to barrel into the U.S. coast since Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Harvey is still bearing down on the Houston area, and will continue to do so for the next few days at least. As residents are displaced by the thousands, we put together this list of how you can help the victims of Hurricane Harvey, not just in Houston, but throughout Texas.
Nowadays, just having a cell phone enables you to do some good right from the palm of your hand. There are various ways to help out, and we've broken our list into donations and volunteer opportunities, with a focus on food specifically.
Remember to do your homework when it comes to giving donations and your time to organizations. If you're unsure of what organizations will do the most with donations, or how those donations are spent, check it out on Charity Navigator.
At this point in time, most organizations on the below lists have stressed the importance of cash donations, and that calling before showing up to volunteer is helpful. It can be tricky to organize so many efforts at once, give the organization a chance to mobilize effectively.
Donations & Volunteers
Houston...this place we call home. my heart is breaking for those who have lost everything. i simply cannot imagine. WAYS TO HELP Repost from @yourhopecity : Our heart is breaking for our city. Whether you live in this region or across the world, YOU have the power to help. Please join with us. Give to flood relief at yourhopecity.com/flood or text ‘FLOOD' with amount to 844-515-2555. You can also sign up for our Emergency Response Team online. #PrayforTexas #HurricaneHarvey
American Red Cross: You can make a donation to the American Red Cross online here. You can also text 90999 to donate $10 to the cause. The Red Cross has volunteers on the ground, and are asking for volunteers if available.
All Hands: All Hands is a volunteer organization that accepts both donations and volunteers, so if you are able to help in any way in the local area, this is your best bet. They work to address not only short-term disaster relief, but long-term recovery, which becomes critical in the aftermath. You can donate here.
Austin Disaster Relief Network: The ADRN is dedicated to making this "one of the largest responses in their history," per KXAN. Their survivor hotline is 512-806-0800, and they are also accepting donations online.
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America: The Lutheran Disaster Response team has stated that they will remain in Houston through long-term efforts, and are accepting donations specifically marked, "Hurricane Response -- United States." You can learn more and donate here.
Feeding Texas: The organization is made up of a network of the state's local feed banks, and you can donate here.
Global Giving: A crowdfunded charity is attempting to raise over $2 that will be exclusively used for local relief and recovery efforts from Hurricane Harvey. You can donate here.
Greater Houston Community Fund: Directly set up my Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, you can donate amounts from $10 to $500 here.
Mercy Chefs: A faith-based disaster relief organization, Mercy Chefs specifically focuses on providing victims, volunteers, and fire responders with professionally prepared meals, especially key to those who no longer have homes to return to. You can make a donation here.
Local Food Banks: If you want help out on a more grassroots level, the Elgin Courier provided information for all central food banks that may be affected by the disaster.
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
For a larger list of places approved by Charity Navigator, check it out here.
The Salvation Army: Donate to the Salvation Army and Harvey specifically here. The organization is devoted to long-term disaster recovery. You can also text, STORM, to 51555 to donate. Those who prefer to call can do so using 1-800-SAL-ARMY, or send checks specific to Hurricane Harvey to PO Box 1959, Atlanta GA, 30301.
Groups to Follow
To stay connected to updates from people on the ground in disaster areas, these Facebook groups were designed to link helpers to those who offer help.
Hurricane Harvey 2017 - Together We Will Make It; TOGETHER WE WILL REBUILD. This group posts live Facebook video footage and acts as a resource for those needing rescue and evacuation assistance, along with those organizations that have the best impact on local areas immediately.
Hurricane Harvey Search and Rescue! This group is specifically for those to post whereabouts about rescuing those in immediate danger.