Several counties in Texas have been impacted and displaced by Hurricane Harvey. The region was hit by over two feet of rain last week resulting in severe flooding, wind damage, and power outages. Rescues from Rockport to Port Arthur, Texas took place, with brave civilians pitching in with boats and trucks.
Post-Harvey, areas are still dealing with the aftermath. Flood levels damaged a water system in Beaumont, causing the whole city to lose clean water. Gas shortages are limiting the amount of resources survivors can obtain, as well as the ability to evacuate into a less chaotic area, until they can rebuild.
During a time like this, desire to help is strong, but you might be unsure of the right way to go about doing so. Below are a list of organizations that are serving the South and Southeast Texas regions to provide immediate and long-term aid:
Texas Diaper Bank is the only disaster relief program in Texas which specifically focuses on providing diapers to victims of natural disasters.
American Red Cross asks that you donate blood (if you can do so!). You can also contribute to providing supplies. ARC has set up an Amazon wishlist full of items specifically designated for disaster relief in Texas, which includes everything from disinfecting wipes to hypoallergenic toddler pillows.
Southeast Texas Food Bank provides food resources to local charities as well as directly to the community during disaster periods in the Southeast region. They task themselves with making sure food donations are safe for consumption before distributing through local organizations and national organizations with offices based in the region.
Feeding Texas distributes food statewide by working with state and federal disaster relief programs. is a statewide nonprofit that works alongside state and federal relief programs to make sure disasters aren’t made worse by unorganized responses.
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.
Refugee Services Of Houston typically offers resettlement services, English language training, and even refugee cash assistance, but right now their main focus is to help refugees and other displaced persons in Harvey’s path. You can donate directly through their website, or make a donation via their Amazon client wishlist.
Animal Defense League of Texas is working to provide shelter to animals impacted by Harvey. You can make drop-offs if you’re near the location in San Antonio, and can also donate directly through the Animal Defense League’s site, or check out their Amazon wishlist.
Amazon Smile Don’t have a lot to give? Through Amazon Smile, you can donate by just purchasing your own essentials. For every eligible purchase, Amazon Smile will donate 5% of your purchase price to the charity of your choice.
United Way Beaumont & North Jefferson County and United Way of Greater Houston have launched a relief fund for storm-related needs and recovery. United Way maintains a disaster relief fund but anticipates the needs of Harvey will far exceed those existing resources.
Every little bit helps right now, so if you can afford it, consider donating to any one of the listed organizations and push yourself to do more digging and find others if you feel moved to do so. However, before giving money to an organization, do your research.
Charity Navigator, which identifies worthy charities, has a list of organizations responding after the storm. Its database is a good starting place to research nonprofits. The Internal Revenue Service has search tools that reveal whether an organization is eligible to receive tax-deductible charitable contributions. If you suspect an organization or individual is engaging in fraud, you can report it to the National Center for Disaster Fraud. For advice on avoiding fraudsters, read Charity Navigator’s post on how to protect yourself, and check out these tips from the Federal Trade Commission.