The last week has been tormenting. No one has been unaffected. We have watched family and friends escape their homes by boat/kayak/helicopter at the last minute before flood waters overtake their home. Our newsfeeds have been flooded with harrowing images and videos of our friends and loved ones sharing their stories of devastation and heartbreak. We all hurt for each other.
Those of us fortunate enough to weather Harvey without damage are itching to help others. There has been an outpouring of donations to the victims living in shelters in the form of volunteer hours, supplies, and love, but it is so hard to know where to start. Who needs what? Where should I volunteer? Where should I donate cash that will go directly to the victims and not to overhead? How can I help these distraught families begin to rebuild and recover?
All of us want our donations to go to good use, not into a warehouse as surplus. It takes manpower to sort through clothing donations and match to someone in need. Our efforts might be better used by donating time, money, or very specific items requested by a shelter or family in need, so we’ve created a short list as a starting place. This is by no means exhaustive, but a wonderful place to start. For those generous hearts from out of town who want to know how to help us, this list is for you, too.
- Volunteer: Texas Diaper Bank (@TXDIAPERBANK on Twitter) NEEDS volunteers in San Antonio to count, sort, and send out donations.
- Donate items: Any brand and any size baby diapers, pull-ups, adult diapers, formula, and wipes. We need primarily the larger sizes of diapers, pull-ups, and adult diapers.
- Donate money: If you’re not local, you can help by donating money: 100% of every donation will go to disaster relief efforts along the Texas coast. Diapers and other items will be distributed to shelters in the affected areas over the course the next several weeks. Donations will continue to go towards post-recovery efforts to families that have been displaced long-term.
- Volunteer: Please register first
- Donate Food and Supplies: Drop off curbside at 535 Portwall, now through Saturday, September 9. Check here for drop off times and “Most Needed Items.”
- Donate Money: The best thing you can do to help the Houston Food Bank right now is to make a donation of money designated for disaster relief. Our neighbors urgently need assistance. The Houston Food Bank’s greatest need is for funds that will help us provide relief and continue recovery efforts. Donations will be used for disaster relief until this year’s needs are met, and the remaining funds will support ongoing hunger-relief efforts.
- Houston animals are lost, cold, and suffering too. HSUS relief workers have airlifted over 100 dogs out of Texas amid Harvey’s catastrophic flooding, and have waded in deep flood waters to save many more. They are on the ground saving our most beloved companions.
- Give to HSUS Disaster Relief by following the hyperlinked text OR text LOVE to 20222 to donate $10. This is the best way to help.
- IM is a wonderful organization. Their main purpose is described here: “At Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston, we believe that, through service and dialogue, it is possible for very diverse people to know one another and find common ground, while still embracing our personal beliefs and cultures. We celebrate the strength of our shared beliefs through four areas of service to the greater Houston community:
- Meals on Wheels for Greater Houston delivers more than 1.5 million meals each year to seniors in Harris and Galveston counties.
- Refugee Services, in conjunction with the U.S. State Department, resettles thousands of refugees in Houston each year.
- Interfaith Relations provides a safe harbor for greater Houston through its many interfaith programs and dialogue efforts.
- In Harvey’s aftermath, Interfaith Ministries will be focusing on helping homebound seniors who receive Meals on Wheels and refugee families – vulnerable populations who will need extra resources after the storm.
- Donate Money: Please give via phone by texting the word Interfaithhelp to 243725.
- Please visit their official Facebook page for latest information and updates.