As I sit here writing this post, my heart just breaks for my hometown of Houston and all of the surrounding areas that have been completely devastated by Hurricane Harvey. ❤️
To give you an idea, the total rainfall from Harvey has reached a record of over 49″ and the average YEARLY rainfall at Bush Intercontinental Airport is 49.76″. That is an unprecedented amount of rain… and it’s still raining!
They desperately need our help! Here’s what you can do…
Make a Donation:
This is going to be one of the most expensive storms ever and one of the best ways to help is to donate money. To donate, visit the American Red Cross or you can also call 1-800-REDCROSS or text HARVEY to 90999 to make a $10 donation for those in need. You can also make a donation to the American Red Cross at the participating registers inside Starbucks locations.
You can also donate to the Salvation Army here, or by calling 1-800-SALARMY, or text STORM to 51555. Be sure to keep receipts if you intend to claim those donations on your tax return.
United Way of Greater Houston has also established a Flood Relief Fund to help with recovery needs of those impacted. To give to the United Way Flood Relief Fund, go here or text UWFLOOD to 41444.
According to the Texas Diaper Bank, “Diapers are not provided by disaster relief agencies.” The agency has asked people to donate diapers to families displaced by the storm. You can mail diapers to:
Texas Diaper Bank Disaster Relief
5415 Bandera Road, Suite 504
San Antonio, Texas 78238
Also, I spoke with a lady from Texas Diaper Bank and she asked that if you plan to purchase diapers from Amazon, please use their Amazon Smile Wish List so that items will be sent directly to them.
Give to Food Banks:
Bob Ottenhoff, president and CEO of the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, said “this is not the time to be donating products or even services. With the floods blocking off streets, when warehouses are not available, there’s no place for these products — there’s no place to store anything, there’s no place to distribute anything. And that’s going to be the case for some time.” Instead, he says, people should give money to groups they trust, and that have the ability to provide aid where it’s needed most.
Want to help provide meals?
There are five Feeding America food banks located in the affected area that need our help. Please consider making a monetary donation to these food banks who are on the front lines of the disaster relief (Feeding Texas is helping to coordinate efforts throughout the state):
Volunteer at Shelters:
If you are near enough and able to help, the American Red Cross in Texas has asked people to volunteer. The office announced on Friday that it would be training volunteers at their shelters. The Salvation Army also announced it would be accepting volunteers for their shelters.
The South Texas Blood and Tissue Center said they were desperate for blood donations ahead of the storm and are asking those in the area to donate, specifically O negative and O positive blood. You can find your nearest donation center by entering your zip code here.
Donate through Amazon:
To support relief efforts, Amazon and Whole Foods Market will match cash donations made via Amazon – up to $1 million total – to the American Red Cross Hurricane Harvey Relief. You can donate a minimum of $5 or enter a custom amount that you choose to give.
Donate My Coke Rewards:
Consider donating your My Coke Rewards codes to the Red Cross to help victims of Hurricane Harvey, where the money will be used to provide shelter, food and water to those in the impacted areas!
To donate, just head here, sign into your My Coke Rewards account and scan the rewards code from your smartphone or enter it manually. There is no limit to how many codes you can enter and each code is worth 5¢ – 38¢ based on the size of the product.
Care for the Animals:
If you are willing and able to care for the many, many animals coming in from the Gulf Coast, here are a couple ways that you can help…
- Austin Pets Alive is seeking families that can foster cats and large dogs. In addition to cash donations, the organization can also use in-kind donations like large plastic or metal bins with lids. Space for some items is limited so check with the organization first before you gather supplies. If you can help with fostering or in-kind donations, check out their website for details.
- The SPCA of Texas has also put out a call for foster homes to help care for the animals already in shelters and those coming from the Gulf Coast. You can sign up here. The organization is also accepting financial donations and in-kind donations, including cat litter, litter boxes, towels, blankets, large wire crates, toys, treats, pet beds, newspaper and gas gift cards.
Help with Clean-Up:
The Austin Disaster Relief Network is asking for toiletries, inflatable mattresses, undergarments, cleaning tools and more – items can be dropped off at the Hope Family Thrift Store in Austin. Volunteers can also sign up for cleaning efforts at the thrift store or on the ADRN website here.
The Coastal Bend Disaster Recovery Group needs construction cleanup supplies, including debris containers, truck cranes, forklifts, ladders, containers and nail guns – and more mentioned here.
Know of other ways to help? Please share below!
Written by Mary for Hip2Save. Mary is a proud mom to 3 kids in Austin, TX, who thrives off running long distance, bargain shopping, warm weather, a yummy latte…and a little Candy Crush from time to time. She loves quality time with family & friends and sharing great deals with others.