As the devastation from Hurricane Harvey grows worse with each news update, so the generosity of Houstonians expands. Across the area, those unaffected by the flood waters are stepping up, lending a hand, and opening their pocketbooks to help those in need.
To aid in that effort, Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis has released a guide to giving that recommends vetted agencies and relief funds that are helping in the face of the disaster.
In his email to constituents, Ellis notes, “Amidst all this destruction, our spirits have been kept afloat by the kindness, bravery, and compassion that so many have shown from near and far. And yesterday, the sun finally broke through the darkened sky as if to point a way forward for us all.”
He suggests contributing to the following funds established for relief and recovery:
- Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund
- Harvey Community Relief Fund
- The Red Cross
- The United Way Relief Fund
- Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services
- ASPCA Disaster Relief
- Houston Pets Alive
- The Wildlife Center of Texas
These are just a few of the charities recommended by the commissioner’s office. Information on other local charities aiding relief efforts can be found at Charity Navigator.
Individuals interested in volunteering can contact Volunteer Houston, which has activated an online Virtual Volunteer Reception Center and that can be accessed here. The Red Cross is also recruiting volunteers to aid in relief efforts.
Social media postings are asking for volunteers at the George R. Brown Convention Center during the less popular hours. Aid is needed for breakfast and dinner servings.
The following supplies are needed by the flood evacuees:
- New clothing, particularly T-shirts, socks, sweat pants, underwear, etc. in large and extra large sizes
- Bedding (sheets, blankest, pillows, etc.)
- Non-perishable food
- Personal hygiene items (feminine products, soap, shampoo, deodorant, etc.)
- Baby supplies (diapers, unopened formula bottles, etc.)
- Pet supplies (food, carriers/crates, leashes, bowls, etc.”
Those wishing to help should check for updates on the various organizations’ social media accounts, Harris Ready’s website, and the City of Houston’s Office of Emergency Management website to see what items are in most demand.
Ellis concludes with “Harvey left us bowed but unbroken. With your help, we will recover and stand strong once more. “