August 28, 2017
Two and a half days after Hurricane Harvey made landfall and dropped more than two feet of rain, thousands of people in Houston and along the Gulf Coast have been displaced. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott activated the entire Texas National Guard.
FEMA Administrator Brock Long estimated Monday that 30,000 people may need shelter, and some 450,000 may qualify for federal flood victim assistance.
As Harvey continues to dump rain on the Gulf Coast and floodwaters rise, many organizations are doing vital work to help save lives and give comfort.
Here's a list of some of the organizations that are undertaking this work and how you can contribute to them.
Of course, NPR isn't endorsing or vouching for any of these groups. It's a good idea to do a bit of research on any charity before you donate to it. One place to start is Charity Navigator.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner established a Harvey relief fund at The Greater Houston Community Foundation. The organization connects donors with a network of nonprofits and innovative solutions in the social sector.
GlobalGiving, which calls itself the largest global crowdfunding community, has a goal of raising $2 million for its Harvey relief fund. Funds will be used first for immediate needs of food, water and shelter, and then transition to long-term recovery efforts.
United Way of Greater Houston has launched a relief fund for storm-related needs and recovery. The organization says it already maintains a disaster relief fund, but it anticipates the needs of Harvey will far exceed those existing resources.
The Center for Disaster Philanthropy has also launched a Hurricane Harvey relief fund. The organization says its strategy emphasizes "investing well rather than investing quickly, addressing the greatest needs and gaps in funding that may be yet to emerge."
GoFundMe, the social fundraising site, has created a landing page that gathers the campaigns on its platform related to Harvey.
The Salvation Army says it is providing food and water to first responders and preparing for massive feeding efforts for residents.
Send Relief and Southern Baptist Disaster Relief says its teams began responding before Harvey made landfall and continues on-the-ground relief work.
Samaritan's Purse is accepting donations as well as volunteers for Harvey disaster relief for the coming months.
Coalition for the Homeless of Houston/Harris County coordinates the city's response to homelessness, serving as "a backbone organization" to groups that offer direct service. It has been providing updated information on shelters with available beds.
Airbnb has set up an urgent accommodations site, where people can open their homes to evacuees from the storm or find shelter themselves. Service fees are waived for those who check in by Sept. 1.
A number of food banks will be aiding the affected region. Consider donating money instead of food, as it allows a food bank to use your donation most efficiently.
Feeding Texas is a statewide nonprofit that works alongside state and federal relief efforts. The organization says it steps in during major disasters to "coordinate with the state and other providers so that relief reaches families quickly and the 'second disaster' of an unorganized response is avoided."
Here's its list of food banks in Texas likely affected by Harvey:
Food Bank of the Golden Crescent (Victoria)
Southeast Texas Food Bank (Beaumont)
Brazos Valley Food Bank (Bryan)
Central Texas Food Bank (Austin)
People With Disabilities
Portlight Strategies facilitates projects involving people with disabilities, including post-disaster relief work. The organization says its hotline for Inclusive Disaster Strategies has received urgent requests from people in need.
The Texas Diaper Bank, based in San Antonio, works to meet the basic needs of vulnerable babies, children with disabilities, and seniors. It focuses on providing partner agencies with diapers and goods.
Austin Pets Alive! says it has transported more than 235 animals to its shelter. The organization seeks donations, as well as people who can adopt animals. It says it has received so many donated supplies that it's running out of storage space, so financial donations are what it needs most.