The scope and scale of Hurricane Harvey is unlike anything America has ever seen. Many may feel helpless in the face of such widespread destruction, upheaval, and suffering. Our hearts are aching at FCP for people several states away, and we began looking for ways to help.
National disaster relief organizations may be the first that come to mind, and often do great work, but it is important to be an informed donor. This includes considering hyperlocal relief efforts, looking beyond traditional charities, and directing resources to marginalized communities that may get overlooked by other efforts. We gathered some of the best resources we’ve seen to respond to Harvey— nonprofit relief, easy ways to give, and organizations doing much-needed work.
- Round Up: Easiest way to give back to those in need? The modern-technology equivalence of giving your spare change. You can now round up your Lyft fare and donate the difference to the Red Cross Hurricane Relief.
- Support Local Government: The Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund established by Houston’s mayor, Sylvester Turner, is administered by the Greater Houston Community Foundation and is accepting tax deductible flood relief donations for victims that have been affected by the recent floods.
- Direct Aid to Where It Counts: Some local food banks are operating at a reduced capacity, but The Houston Food Bank, the nation’s largest food bank, is still inaccessible due to flooding. Feeding Texas is working to manage incoming donation efforts and helping to coordinate emergency food response in Texas.
- Donate Money and Aid to Houston’s Communities of Color: Communities of color are often disproportionately affected by the negative impacts of climate change and natural disasters. Consider donating to one of the following organizations that focus on supporting marginalized communities:
- The Black Women’s Defense League is a Dallas-based organization working with Houston activists to determine what underserved communities need. Click here for a list of supplies that can be donated, or head here to donate money.
- RAICES, a Texas-based nonprofit legal advocacy group, has been working with Texas shelters to find housing for women and children stranded by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) after being released from detention centers.
- Don’t Forget the Things We Take for Granted: The Texas Diaper Bank provides emergency diaper kits (which are not distributed by most relief agencies) for babies, seniors and people with disabilities. Additionally, the Homeless Period Project of Austin is delivering feminine hygiene products to those displaced by the storm.
- Lend a Hand to Marginalized Communities: The Transgender Foundation of America has created a relief fund in the Houston-area for trans and intersex people, two groups who are often turned away from shelters during disasters. And the LGBTQ Disaster Relief Fund, managed by the Montrose Center which has served Houston with LGBTQ counseling and a community center for 39 years, is helping LGBTQ community members displaced by the storm.
- Get Hyperlocal: Often those who have established ties to an area will have more intimate knowledge of when and where to direct resources. Here is a good list from Texas Monthly of local charities working on relief efforts and here is one from Charity Navigator.
- Help Animals That Were Left Behind: Dallas DogRRR is working to save some of the poor pups affected or left behind in Hurricane Harvey. They have an Amazon Wish List to donate supplies, and are accepting monetary donations as well. Other organizations working to help animals affected by the disaster include the SPCA of Texas, Austin Pets Alive (currently requesting money instead of material donations), Dallas Animal Services, and the San Antonio Humane Society.
We ask that you join the Full Court Press team in keeping the victims of Hurricane Harvey in your thoughts, meditations, or prayers. We in Oakland are sending them endless amounts of love, hope and strength.