It has been more than 3 weeks since Hurricane Harvey hit southeast Texas. Though the storm may have passed, the damage done has left a severe impact on our region. As this devastating tragedy ravaged the nation's fourth largest city and many surrounding areas, Texan showed no delay in coming together and providing an out pour of support for one another.
Residents from nearby areas have helped in financial, physical, and even spiritual ways. But as news channels move on to newer stories, we must remember that help is still needed. The aftermath of this storm will require a vast amount of aid and assistance to get our region back up on its feet.
We know that like us, many of you want to know how and where you can help the Hurricane Harvey victims. Our staff has collectively made a list of organizations that remain in need of support along with various methods you can provide assistance. If you have any suggestions you would like to add, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to notify us!
Most people's first instinct is to donate clothing, supplies, and food. However apart from those items, cash donations are the most preferred form of support. This is because monetary donations are far more flexible and are able to be used much quicker in need of a crisis. Physical items given are helpful but require volunteers to divert their attention to assist in collecting, separating, and distributing items.
Before donating money however, we recommend first becoming aware of what your money will be used for once in the hands of a large or small organization. The Center for International Disaster Information has recommended sites such as the Better Business Bureau, GiveWell, Charity Navigator, or the Charity Watch to verify the legitimacy of an organization.
Food banks are still in need of nonperishable items such as dry goods and canned goods. Many have also created lists on their sites to provide better details of the items urgently needed. Many common items aside from food listed on the sites include: hygiene items, cleaning supplies, clothing, and school supplies. Here is a list of food banks still accepting supplies:
Aside from supplies and financial help, many people simply need your time. We have created a breakdown of ways to help Harvey victims through your knowledge, expertise, or experience:
- FEMA is in need of more workers to help people with the claims process. They are also in need of Sign Language interpreters as well as Management Specialists. Visit this link to get more information on their current openings.
- If you are able to cook, you can sign up to cook for the victims living in shelters here
- Red Cross is no longer in need of mental health professionals, however they are still accepting applications for volunteers here.
- If you are an attorney or have a background in legal advising, the State Bar of Texas's legal hotline is in need of more staff as they continue to guide low-income Texans in replacing their legal documents and paper work which were lost due to the flooding. You can find the form to volunteer here.
- Shelters in your area also need volunteers to help with those that are still displaced because of Harvey. Here in Houston, two of the largest shelters at George R. Brown and NRG need volunteers around the clock. You can sign up and find more information here.
We hope this helps provide you with various avenues of extending support the community. We at Texan have plans to assist the shelters at George R. Brown and NRG.
Our thoughts and prayers are with all those impacted by Harvey. We know we have a long road to be fully recovered, but with the continued support of everyone in the community, Texans remain resilient in the recovery effort.