I watched the news reports from Texas and was horrified at the scale of this disaster. I grew up on the Jersey shore where I’ve been evacuated due to storms, but I have never seen this level of disaster. My heart goes out to the victims and I want to help.
When a natural disaster strikes, I make a donation to my go to national or global charities for disaster relief such as Team Rubicon, Save the Children, and/or Global Giving. I also ask for recommendations for local charities from colleagues. The last one is tricky if you are not local to the area, but I’m grateful to have a great network of people who work in the nonprofit sector and can make recommendations. Then it comes down to what aspect of the recovery do you want to support?
It is times like this that I wish I had won that Power Ball 700 million plus lottery so I could make a significant gift to many areas. Since I have not been too lucky with lottery tickets lately, I pick a focus area and match it with a recommended local group working on disaster relief. In addition to disaster relief organizations, I’ve decided to donate to local food banks. But which ones? When a disaster is too big for one food bank to handle, Feeding Texas steps in to coordinate with the state and other providers so that relief comes quick.
There are many more local nonprofits, focusing on animals, elderly, children, and more. Here’s a list of suggestions from people in my network:
- United Way of Houston
- Covenant House (helping homeless youth)
- Homeless Coalition (coordinated agencies)
- PortLight “Inclusive Disaster Relief”
- SPCA of Texas
- Bayou Animal Services
- Galveston Animal Rescue Service
- Jewish Federation of Greater Houston
- Islamic Society of Greater Houston
- Texas Diaper Bank
- YMCA Houston
- Legacy Community Health Center
- Greater Houston Community Foundation Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund
- Baker Ripley (Neighborhood Centers) Long Term Relief Fund
- Facebook Safety Check Page is also coordinating people who need or want to give time, donations, or items and various campaigns.
- No Red Cross – Lists local nonprofits
If you want to set up a fundraiser to help Hurricane Harvey Victims, you can do that on Everyday Hero. Here’s a good list from Texas Monthly of local charities working the relief efforts or this one from Charity Navigator. And, if you work for a nonprofit working in area where a natural disaster could strike, my colleagues at TechSoup remind us about good disaster planning.
We may feel tempted to want to send donated goods to local organizations, but it is better to send money. Organizations may be too overwhelmed to accept donations of good.
Hurricane Harvey is a destructive monster and it is going to require generous support from people like you and me to help with the recovery efforts.No donation is too small. Pick a disaster relief and recovery nonprofit and make a donation today. If you know of others, please mention them in the comments.