My parents and I were having dinner the other night and the topic came up of celebrities and politicians who have donated money to aid with Hurricane Harvey relief and the backlash that some have received for not giving enough. Personally, I find it ludicrous for anyone to judge how much a celebrity or politician donated, regardless of their net worth. I think it's great that so many wealthy individuals have stepped up to the plate and donated anything and I feel we should be thankful regardless of the amount.
The conversation led to the question: What can we do to help? I don't have a million dollars to donate like Sandra Bullock, and I live full time on Airbnbs and short term rentals, so I can't house a hurricane survival family like Larry David, but I've got some money, time, resources, and online reach that I can contribute. So upon doing research, I've compiled a list of 50+ ways to help provide relief to Hurricane Harvey victims.
Since like any disaster, the vultures come out to prey and we've got to be careful who and where we contribute our resources to, I've done my best to filter out any unscrupulous organizations from appearing on the list, and in doing so, may have missed something worthwhile. So please leave a comment if you've either got feedback about any of the items on this list or would like to contribute an additional way to help that I missed. And if you don't have the money or time to contribute right now, the easiest and most helpful thing you can do is share this list with your friends and family who may be in a better place to contribute right now.
How YOU Can Help With Hurricane Harvey Relief
#1) Donate blood to The South Texas Blood & Tissue Center who are in desperate need of more than 2,000 units of blood, particularly O positive and O negative. Other places to donate blood are Carter BloodCare and Red Cross.
#2) Donate food and clothing to local food banks and shelters. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner is coordinating with local food banks to distribute donations and is specifically asking for clothing, medical supplies, baby items, and food.
#3) Give diapers to the Texas Diaper Bank. You can mail them to 5415 Bandera Road, Suite 504, San Antonio, Texas 78238 or drop them off at the same address.
#4) Help with the cleanup. The Austin Disaster Relief Network is organizing volunteers to help with cleanup. You can sign up to volunteer or drop off toiletries, inflatable mattresses, undergarments, and cleaning tools to the HOPE Family Thrift Store .
#5) Contribute construction cleanup supplies like debris containers, truck cranes, forklifts, ladders, and nail guns. The Coastal Bend Disaster Recovery Group is accepting donations for that.
#6) Donate money to the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund established by Mayor Sylvester Turner and County Judge Ed Emmett.
#7) Shop via Amazon Smile and choose which charity you'd like to support through your regular online shopping – many of which are earmarking funds for Harvey Relief. (Note: I'm an affiliate for Amazon and I'll be dispersing my Sep income across various organizations on this page.)
#8) Give via the largest global crowdfunding community Global Giving, which is on track to raise $5 million for its Harvey relief fund that will be used for food, water and shelter and then transition to long-term recovery efforts.
#9) Donate via United Way of Greater Houston who have also launched a relief fund for storm-related needs and recovery.
#10) Focus on the long-term recovery of Houston after Harvey with The Center for Disaster Philanthropy.
#11) Help deploy Americorps members to do mucking, gutting, and rebuilding via SPB, a group that got its start after Hurricane Katrina and provides advisory services to local leaders and nonprofits.
#12) GoFundMe created a landing page that compiles the campaigns on its platform related to Harvey, which you can donate to all at once or pick which ones you'd like to give to individually.
#13) The Salvation Army is providing food and water to first responders and preparing for massive feeding efforts for residents.
#14) Help provide on-the-ground relief work in Houston with Send Relief and Southern Baptist Disaster Relief (SBDR).
#15) Help organize volunteer efforts with Samaritan's Purse.
#16) Direct Relief needs funding to provide emergency health kits to community health centers in Texas.
#17) Donate to the American Kidney Fund to help dialysis patients affected by the storm receive treatment.
#18) The Coalition for the Homeless of Houston/Harris County is helping coordinate the allocation of space in shelters.
#19) Amazon and Whole Foods is matching cash donations made via Amazon.com – up to $1 million – to the American Red Cross Hurricane Harvey Relief efforts.
#20) Open your home to evacuees. AirBnb set up an urgent accommodations site, where people can open their homes to evacuees or find shelter themselves.
#21) Feeding Texas is coordinating donations to local food banks to help ensure that the money quickly reaches where it's needed most.
#22) Portlight helps people with disabilities who may be in the affected areas to locate services and resources they need.
#23) The AARP is matching donations up to $1.5 million.
#24) Save The Children is accepting donations to help provide family-friendly supplies and services to Hurricane Harvey survivors.
#25) The SPCA is organizing evacuations of pets in Texas.
#26) Adopt an animal via Austin Pets Alive! who are seeking volunteers to take in displaced pets.
#27) American Humane is distributing 100,000 pounds of pet food in Houston which you can help provide.
#28) Pray for survivors at your local church or organize a prayer chain.
#29) Apple is making it easy to donate to Red Cross via the iTunes Store.
#30) The Driscoll Children's Hospital could use your donation to help ensure the safety of its patients and staff.
#31) Americares helps mobilize medical outreach with their local healthcare partners and provide medical supplies and water.
#32) Tito's Handmade Vodka is matching American Red Cross donations up to $50,000.
#33) Texas Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster is connecting volunteers with volunteer organizations.
#34) Team Rubicon unites the skills and experiences of military veterans with first responders to rapidly deploy emergency response teams and are seeking monetary donations or volunteers.
#35) TEXSAR members have been deployed to the coastal bend and gulf coast in response to hurricane Harvey and could use donations or volunteers.
#36) Trusted World set-up a temporary collection site to help provide relief for the victims of Hurricane Harvey and could use support.
#37) Convoy of Hope is seeking volunteers who live within 2 hours of the affected area.
#38) Southwest Airlines is collecting Rapid Rewards points to donate to partner organizations the American Red Cross, Team Rubicon, and the All Hands Volunteers.
#39) Fastaff Travel Nursing is offering expedited applications for nurses who want to volunteer in Texas.
#40) Texas Volunteer Registry is coordinating the assignment of medical professionals who want to help so that their presence doesn't go wasted.
#41) Catholic Charities provides food, clothing, shelter and a network of support services to those dealing with the aftermath of this disaster from all walks of life and religious backgrounds.
#42) Houston’s Coalition for the Homeless needs your support to help people in Houston who already had no permanent place to live and have had their lives upended by Harvey.
#43) Texas Board of Nursing is issuing temporary licenses to out-of-state nurses who hold a current license in good standing in his or her home state.
#44) Give your employees paid time off to volunteer. If you own a business and can afford to give a little extra paid time off this year, do so and allow your team to volunteer.
#45) Donate to 22 IRS-verified nonprofits at once via Public Good. You can donate to CNN's campaign via this link which includes organizations also vetted by CNN's Impact Your World organization.
#46) Barbara and Bob Amen will match up to $10,000 to AKC Reunite’s Pet Disaster Relief Fund to help families safely evacuate with their pets.
#47) Round up the difference next time you take a Lyft via their Round Up & Donate feature which goes straight to the Red Cross in between now and the end of September.
#48) Start a pool at work and donate as a group to one of the organizations on this list.
#49) Talk to your kids about Hurricane Harvey so that they understand its impact on our country and ask them if they'd like to donate their allowance to a relief fund on this list and let them choose which one.
#50) Share this article and help others learn what they can do to provide relief to Hurricane Harvey victims.
It's amazing how many groups and individuals have stepped up during Texas's time of need, and this list barely tips the iceberg. So what'd I miss? Drop a comment with other ways to help or please provide feedback about any of the items on the list above.