How to Help Harvey Victims
Tragic photos of the devastation in the wake of Hurricane Harvey has been all over the local and national news. Living three hours down the road, I am grateful Austin was spared from the damage, but my heart breaks for my friends, colleagues, and clients I work with in Houston and the surrounding rural areas.
I spent the early part of my career working for the American Red Cross in two states, and while their disaster relief efforts and use of funds have been called into question (rightfully so), their ability to mobilize and provide immediate relief is vital to large-scale emergency response. That said, the coming months (and years) will be more about prolonged recovery and financial stability than disaster relief. The needs will shift from temporary shelter and basic needs to construction, financial support, insurance gap assistance, support for damaged local schools, and other critical services as Gulf Coast communities large and small move past the disaster and into the next chapter of their lives.
Here is my list of organizations working to fill both an immediate and long term need for families (and pets) across Texas:
Austin Pets Alive
- No-kill shelter in Austin helping animal rescues, fosters, etc.
- Greatest needs: cat litter, collars, tarps, dog treats, paper bowls, kitten and puppy formula, flea/tick prevention, canned pet food, litter boxes, metal dog bowls, trash bags, bleach, paper towels, dish soap
Bastrop County Emergency Food Pantry
- Provides emergency assistance and food to rural areas affected (Bastrop, Smithville, Del Valle)
- Greatest Needs: canned meats, canned vegetables, juices, rice, peanut butter, sugar, cereal, boxed potatoes, soups, hygiene items, toiletries
- (Houston Food Bank is also up and running, providing short term and long term food - http://www.houstonfoodbank.org/get-involved/harvey-disaster-relief/)
The Center for Disaster Philanthropy
- Their hurricane Harvey relief fund is focused on more long term investments as recovery continues. They'll conduct a mix of investments and grants to support community development.
- Financial Donations.
Texas Diaper Bank
- Provides needs for infants and toddlers
- Greatest Needs: diapers, formula