Lifestyle

Here's What You Can Do to Help the Victims of Hurricane Harvey

This past weekend the Lone Star State was hit hard by Hurricane Harvey, a massive storm that left a wake of destruction across the Texas coast and into the mainland. According to the National Weather Service, Houston, the fourth-largest city in America, is currently experiencing “catastrophic flooding” that’s only expected to continue in the coming days.

With tens of thousands of people currently displaced, in shelters, or evacuated, and many more stranded throughout the area, the state of Texas is in desperate need of resources to help with rescue and recovery efforts, as well ensuring the safety of those affected and rebuilding when the time comes.

Here's how you can help those in Texas affected by the storms:

Monetary donations
Easily donate $10 by texting “REDCROSS” to 90999 or donate any amount by visiting their website here.

The United Way of Houston is accepting donations here.

Global Giving has set up a Hurricane Harvey relief fund that is attempting to raise $2 million to help with relief efforts. Donations can be made here.  

Save the Children, an organization dedicated to helping families and displaced children is accepting donations here. Donations will help secure essential needs for children and infants displaced by the storm.

Also helping with the needs of children, the Texas Diaper Bank is accepting donations here.

People with disabilities often have the most difficulty during storm evacuations. To help, Portlight, an organization that specializes in disability efforts, has set up a grassroots campaign here. Additionally, a hotline has been set up to refer people with disabilities to local services and resources at (800)-626-4959.

For more specific and local needs GoFundMe has created a Hurricane Harvey landing page to help easily find people, families, charities, and organizations that need financial assistance.

Food donations
Food banks across Texas are accepting donations. Three with the most immediate needs include Houston, Galveston, and Corpus Christi.

Animal help
With a countless number of pets and animals being affected by the weather, a number of organizations are accepting donations. The SPCA of Texas and the Houston SPCA are currently taking donations to help take in as many animals as possible. Austin Pets Alive is currently looking for people to help shelter displaced animals and accepting donations here.

Blood donations
Blood donations can be made around the around the country. To find the nearest donation center, visit the American Red Cross donation center locator here. For those in Texas, the Carter Blood Care Center and the South Texas Blood and Tissue Center are local options currently working on the ground.

Volunteering
If you’re looking to volunteer services on the ground in the disaster area there are numerous organizations preparing to help. One solid place to start is Volunteer Houston, a local organization with a website that acts as a hub for volunteer opportunities. Additional volunteers sites include All Hands and National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster

Airbnb is helping to connect people looking for shelter with open rooms being donated in safe areas. It’s also waiving fees for those affected by Hurricane Harvey until September 1. If you’re able to offer lodging or are looking for a place to stay, click here.

If you have a boat and can get to the Houston area...
Contact the Houston Police department at 713-881-3100. Boats are in critical need to help with rescue and recovery efforts. Lines might be busy, but the HPD is telling callers to please stay patient and keep trying.

Tanner Saunders is a born and raised Texan who has seen firsthand how resilient his people are.