Miscellany

How You Can Donate to Help Those Affected by Hurricane Harvey

We’ve got lots of options for you to help those affected by Hurricane Harvey.

Photo by J Labrador @ Flickr

I thought about doing a specific fundraiser for those affected by Hurricane Harvey, but having to choose just one charity seemed impossible when there are so many that are providing incredible help for those that are in need of help. And so I thought I’d give you options. Lots of terrific options and if something pulls at your heart, I think I’ve got you covered.  You want to help the homeless?  Check. What about pets?  Check. Want to feed rescue workers?  Got you covered.

Hurricane Harvey affected two of our own, DanSwany and his family hunkered down and rode out Harvey while Brian, his wonderful lady friend and Boudin stayed in San Antonio. I think their things are okay and I’d guess that a lot of you probably didn’t know that Brian’s dad is the mayor of Baytown and I can only imagine the things he’s trying to do to help his city. You can help Baytown by donating to the United Way Harvey Relief Fund that benefits Greater Baytown and and Chambers County. I asked for folks to email with recommendations and I received a few that I want to share with you. These are their words and the descriptions of the charities from them.

  • From Oldgreywolf, he recommended Operation BBQ Relief: I have responded to some of the relief efforts during the Moore tornado…the Joplin tornado…..and in Rowlett where I live. There is one organization that has consistently been there for the relief workers and the victims. Operation BBQ Relief. Operation BBQ Relief – OBR. The Salvation Army…the Red Cross are all great organizations and help tremendously….but…..the most immediate help with the least red tape comes through the churches and private organizations. The men and women of OBR supplied over 30,000 meals to the relief efforts in Rowlett. They set up at our church…which was in the tornado path. Within minutes they had grills going and started cooking. And when I talk about cooking….these are not Weber charcoal grills. They have trailers with the Oyler grills you see in the best BBQ places and they cooks tons of food. Most of the meals delivered by the Salvation Army and Red Cross in Rowlett actually came from OBR. We didn’t have the security to get behind the police lines to go to the people who were in the debris zone. Salvation Army and Red Cross had the trucks and the security clearance to get to the people. Once the police lines were taken down we were able to go in ourselves and deliver. They provided breakfast, lunch and dinner around the clock for 7 days and then they moved on to the floods in Louisiana. In Moore I went the first week and saw them in operation and again first hand in Rowlett. Some of the most amazing people who just want to help. There is no red tape….you don’t have to show ID or fill out paperwork. You need to eat….they have food.You can also check out a story about Operation BBQ Relief on the local NBC affilate in the DFW.
  • From Alex, a longtime reader who doesn’t comment very much, had a bunch of terrific options for donations:*United Way of Greater Houston: Not very specific but they support a lot of different groups and they have a relief fund where you can donate to specific counties too.* Salvation Army: Another general one but they support the first responders as well as survivors.
    * Coalition for the Homeless: Don’t think they have a specific storm relief fund yet, but sounds like they are working on one. Here’s another link that talks about some Harvey specific efforts I think this is one that will have a huge need.
    * Houston Foodbank: Well funded, but the some of the warehouses are flooded/closed so I think donations here will go a long way.
    * Portlight Strategies: Helps people with disabilities and will aid with post-disaster relief. I think they (just like everyone else) have received a huger number of urgent requests. Figured this was another one that would help those less fortunate.
  • From another very loyal reader and contributor, Kenneth, he recommended the Southern Baptist Disaster Relief Organization: 100% of all donations go to relief. The labor is all voluntary. It is the 4th largest relief organization in the US. I will be leading a team to Houston asap. Also teams from over 20 states are mobilizing. The website explains all we do. I also know 4 of the feeding units (80,000) meals per day will be there.
  • DanSwany, suggested that you check out this New York Times article about where to donate and how to avoid scams, which I would imagine is incredibly prevalent right now.
  • The good folks at the Texas Monthly have a list of places to contribute, from donating for diapers, to helping animals, helping those with special needs (the Portlight linked above), the various food banks in Houston, the homeless, farmers, those displaced and those who live in Port Arthur and Beaumont.

I’m going to create an ad spot on the front page that I’ll probably leave up there for all of football season for sure, maybe longer. The idea here is that if the mood or opportunity strikes for you to be able to give, long after the television cameras are gone, you’ll know where to go.

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