It's hard to be joyful when there is so much suffering in this world, in our country, and in our own backyard. I'd like to dedicate this post to ways you can help the people of Houston right now.
What everyone can do: Share links to reputable organizations
Not everyone may have the funds to donate but you can absolutely share links to organizations that are directly helping the people affected by Hurricane Harvey. You never know who may come across that link and will donate because you took the time to share it.
What many can do: Donate money or items
If you do have the funds to donate, there are numerous organizations that are directly helping the people who need it. Refer to the links listed at the end of this post.
What some can do: Go and help
If you are near Houston and are capable of helping, please do. Volunteer with organizations on the ground helping people in need. If you are on dry land, take people in. If you have boats or jet skis, help people evacuate their homes. And of course, don't forget about the pets.
Here are reliable relief efforts helping the people of Houston.
The Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund of Houston’s mayor, Sylvester Turner, which is administered by the Greater Houston Community Foundation.
The South Texas Blood and Tissue Center is reporting a critical shortage, and has extended hours at all of its San Antonio-area donor rooms. To donate, call 210-731-5590 or visit their website for more information.
Carter BloodCare covers hospitals in North, Central and East Texas. To donate, call 877-571-1000 or text DONATE4LIFE to 444-999.
To help animals suffering from the disaster, visit the Houston Humane Society or the San Antonio Humane Society. The Houston Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has set up an animal emergency response hotline (713-861-3010) and is accepting donations on its website.
The Texas Diaper Bank in San Antonio is asking for diapers and wipes, which can be dropped off in person or mailed to 5415 Bandera Road, Suite 504, San Antonio, Tex., 78238.
The United Way of Greater Houston flood relief fund will be used to help with immediate needs as well as long-term services like minor home repair. Visit their website to donate or text UWFLOOD to 41444.
The L.G.B.T.Q. Disaster Relief Fund will be used to help people “rebuild their lives through counseling, case management, direct assistance with shelf stable food, furniture, housing and more.” It is managed by The Montrose Center, Houston’s longtime community center for the area’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender population.
For more options, the Federal Emergency Management Agency recommends checking with the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster for a list of trusted disaster-relief organizations in Texas.
Links sourced by The New York Times.
The Black Women’s Defense League is a Dallas-based organization that is working with Houston activists to determine what underserved communities need. Click here for a list of supplies that can be donated; head here to donate money.
RAICES, a Texas-based nonprofit legal advocacy group, has been working with Texas shelters to find housing for woman and children stranded by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) after being released from detention centers. To send clothing, toys and toiletries to these woman and children, mail boxes to the Collins Garden Library in San Antonio.
ICNA Relief, also known as Muslims for Humanity, is a nonprofit that has committed aid to residents of Southern Texas after the devastation of Harvey.
BlackAmericaWeb.com Relief Fund benefits individuals and families who are victims of publicly declared disasters. Tom Joyner founded it following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and he has donated $20,000 to it in the wake of Harvey.
Living Hope Wheelchair Association serves populations with spinal cord injuries and other disabilities, and the bulk of their members are immigrants and low-wage workers. The organization has also been conducting direct rescues since the hurricane made landfall.
SHAPE Community Center says its organization aims to “improve the quality of life for people of African descent (all people) through programs and activities, with emphasis on unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith.” Since the storm made landfall in Texas, it has mobilized to help the people of Houston stay safe and find shelter.
South Texas Human Rights Center is committed to keeping immigrant families intact and preventing migrant deaths along the Texas-Mexico border through community initiatives. The border—and those living on it—were in the direct path of Hurricane Harvey.
The Way Home works to end homelessness in Houston, Harris County and Fort Bend County. It has partnered with a network of area shelters to achieve this. Donate directly to The Way Home or to its partners.
Portlight assists people with disabilities who have medical needs or require shelter as a result of Hurricane Harvey.
The Homeless Period Project of Austin distributes tampons, pads and other period-related items to those displaced by the storm.
Links sourced by Colorlines.