Simple acts of kindness
When a disaster like the Hurricane Harvey happens, many of us don’t know how to help in a meaningful way. Here are a few ways you can offer help to people in need.
Give cash using your phone
While material goods are needed, they can be more of a hindrance than a help as transportation and logistics are tough with all the flooding.
Cash donations provide more flexibility for communities and aid groups to provide specific help.
Ways to donate cash via text
UWFLOOD to 41444 to donate to the United Way Flood Relief Fund
CCUSADISASTER to 71777 for donations to the Catholic Charities USA.
HARVEY to 90999 to make a $10 donation to the American Red Cross.
Support volunteer organizations
All Hands has staff and volunteers who work with local emergency management teams.
Humane Societies in San Antonio and Houston and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of Texas provide shelter and care to pets.
Portlight helps people with disabilities.
International Relief Teams provide personal hygiene kits to disaster victims.
The Texas Diaper Bank is a good resource for helping young families.
Donate to food banks
The Houston Press has a list of food banks in the areas affected, but disaster relief experts suggest calling them before making a donation of non-perishable, packaged items and cleaning supplies.
Use your language skills
The Houston and south Texas region is home to the largest number of refugees in the US, plus a large population of immigrants.
Spanish, Vietnamese, Arabic, and American Sign language skills are helpful to relief organizations, hospitals, radio stations, and first responders.
The South Texas Blood and Tissue Center is looking for help as extensive rescue efforts are underway and local hospitals take in new patients.
Habitat for Humanity helped rebuild homes after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and will be rebuilding homes in Texas.
Other ways to donate
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner has established the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund to accept tax deductible flood relief donations.
NPR lists many other giving resources here.