Hurricane Harvey: How You Can Help

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Want to donate to aid victims of the tropical storm? Here are some of the groups assisting with disaster relief

Anne Colby August 30, 2017

As catastrophic flooding from Hurricane Harvey continues to devastate Houston and surrounding areas, you may be wondering what you can do to help. Here’s a list of some of the organizations providing relief to victims of the tropical storm or preparing to help them recover in the days ahead. (Use caution when making disaster-aid donations to be sure a group is legitimate. Sites such as Charity Navigator and the Better Business Bureau’s can help.)

Texas National Guard soldiers assist people in a flooded area during Tropical Storm Harvey. Photo by Lt. Zachary West, 100th MPAD, Texas Military Department

National VOAD. National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster is an association of faith-based, community-based and other national and state disaster relief organizations. Its website offers links to groups assisting storm victims and information on how to donate or volunteer. Info 

American Red Cross. The Red Cross has set up shelters in the Gulf Coast region. It says almost 1,000 volunteers from around the country are in place and will be joined by others and by trained volunteers from the Mexican Red Cross. The organization is providing supplies, cots, blankets, ready-to-eat meals and comfort kits. It has mobilized its emergency response fleet and brought in blood supplies. The aid group says it is working with the response community to coordinate relief efforts and get help to people quickly. To donate, visit, call 800-RED-CROSS or text HARVEY to 90999 to give $10. Info 

South Texas Blood and Tissue Center. The center is supplying blood units to local hospitals and trauma centers. Blood donation hours have been extended at some locations in Texas, and other donation rooms are closed due to flooding. Check the website for blood-collection sites and donation details. Info

Salvation Army. Trained disaster staff and volunteers have been deployed to Texas and are providing food boxes, bottled water, cleanup kits and comfort kits. They also are serving at emergency shelters and staffing emergency operations centers. Dozens of mobile feeding units and two field kitchens are providing meals, drinks and snacks. Info

Feeding Texas. Food banks in the statewide network are providing food boxes, shelter meals and cleaning supplies to families affected by Harvey. The group says that every dollar donated goes to its food banks to help these families. Info

Save the Children. Emergency teams are assisting families in evacuation shelters. The group is delivering family-friendly supplies, including cribs, strollers, changing tables, baby shampoo, diapers and baby-safe portable tubs. It is setting up supervised child-friendly spaces where parents can leave their children while attending to their families’ recovery needs. The group also provides trained staff to help children deal with difficult emotions arising from the disaster. Info 

Portlight Strategies. The organization assists people with disabilities and older adults, including after disasters. It is working with the state of Texas, FEMA and disability groups nationally to address the lifesaving needs of callers to its Hurricane Harvey disability hotline. Info

Texas Army National Guard soldiers assist flood victims in the Cypress Creek area of Houston. Photo by Capt. Martha Nigrelle, U.S. Army National Guard, Texas Military Department

The Humane Society of the United States. The organization has responders in Houston and other cities rescuing, transporting and caring for animals. It is working with Wings of Rescue, San Antonio Animal Care Services, Houston Humane Society and others to move animals to other shelters around the country. Info 

Houston Humane Society. The shelter is caring for animals and helping to move them to other shelters to make room for strays. Info

SPCA of Texas. The group is assisting and caring for animals and people who have evacuated the Gulf Coast and are sheltering in northern Texas. It helped set up a temporary animal shelter in downtown Dallas near the evacuees’ mega-shelter so people can visit their pets. In addition to donating money, you can give in-kind gifts through the group’s Amazon wish listInfo

Austin Pets Alive. The Austin, Texas, shelter is transporting and caring for animals from shelters affected by Harvey. Besides donations, it is seeking people able to foster animals. Info

A satellite photo shows Harvey in the Gulf of Mexico on Aug. 24. Photo from NOAA/NASA GOES Project 

Direct Relief. The international humanitarian aid organization has committed $200,000 in cash and made its $100 million inventory of medical supplies available to support relief and recovery efforts related to Harvey. The group has sent shipments of emergency supplies to Community Health Centers of South Central Texas. It also has extended offers of assistance to other partners and clinics in Texas and Louisiana. Info

Samaritan’s Purse. The group is sending disaster relief units to southeastern Texas to provide emergency relief equipment and supplies to help its staff and volunteers meet the needs of flood victims. It has already started helping with roof repair and cleanup work. Info

United Way of Greater Houston. The nonprofit agency has launched a relief fund to support its community in the aftermath of Harvey. United Way of Greater Houston says its first priority will be safety, shelter and basic needs such as food. It will then focus on long-term recovery efforts. Info 

Americares. The Stamford, Connecticut-based relief organization offers health care, emergency medicine and supplies in disaster areas. Its response team in Houston is coordinating with a partner clinic to assess emergency needs. The group is developing plans with local organizations and free clinics there to provide access to medicine, relief supplies and basic health care for people in need. Info

GlobalGiving. This group seeks to raise $2 million for its Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund to provide emergency food, water and medicine to victims and long-term assistance to residents to help them recover and rebuild. The group is working with local nonprofits to help fund their relief and recovery efforts on the ground. Info

Airbnb. The company is waiving service fees to those affected by the disaster who check in between Aug. 23 and Sept. 25. It has a web page where members can offer free lodging to victims of Harvey. Info

GoFundMe. The fundraising platform has a page devoted to campaigns raising funds to assist storm victims. It also has its own Direct Impact Fund accepting tax-deductible donations to support individuals with verified GoFundMe campaigns. Info

Texas National Guard and Texas Task Force responders conduct aerial search and rescue along the Gulf Coast near Corpus Christi. Photo from Texas Military Department

Greater Houston Community Foundation. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner has established the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund, which is accepting tax-deductible donations that will go to victims affected by the flooding. Info 

Coalition for the Homeless of Houston/Harris County. The group says local homeless providers have housed more than 11,000 homeless individuals since 2012. It is working to see how many people who have been housed in The Way Home’s permanent housing programs have been displaced by the storm. It is exploring disaster funding that can be used to help homeless and displaced people get back into housing. Info

All Hands Volunteers. This group works with volunteers, partner organizations and communities to help homeowners affected by natural disasters, including assisting with “mucking and gutting” after a flood. It helps communities rebuild homes, schools, day care facilities and community centers. All Hands Volunteers says its response team has reached Texas and is in contact with emergency management officials to start helping in affected areas as soon as access is granted. Info

A soldier looks out at flooded streets in Houston’s Cypress Creek area. Photo by Capt. Martha Nigrelle, U.S. Army National Guard, Texas Military Department