Most New Englanders won’t be able to make it down to Texas to provide relief for Hurricane Harvey’s victims, but there are still ways to help.
“The thing that Red Cross is going to most need in the next few weeks and months as we respond to the flooding in Texas is dollars,” said Jeff Hall of the American Red Cross of Massachusetts. “We can always use more volunteers, but chances are they won’t be going down to Texas.”
Given the time it takes to train volunteers, signing up now won’t ensure that you get to help out Harvey victims, Hall said.
Those wanting to help should be careful when choosing where to donate. Hall suggested checking the Federal Emergency Management Agency website for the charities they endorse.
Here is a list of reputable organizations that are looking for help:
The Red Cross is accepting donations to aid more than 1,700 people in Texas shelters and support cleanup efforts. You can call 800-RED-CROSS or text HARVEY to 90999 to donate $10 to the Red Cross — it will show up on your next phone bill.
Hall said he thinks donations will continue to go directly to efforts in Texas for the next six weeks or more.
“The Red Cross anticipates being in the Texas area for months now trying to help people recover,” he said.
Giving blood is another way to help, as there is currently a blood shortage, which is typical of the summer season. The South Texas Blood & Tissue Center wrote on Friday that it had “less than a day of blood on the shelf.”
This Stamford, Conn., organization, with the slogan “health is on the way,” provides medical supplies and aid in response to emergencies. The nonprofit helped with relief efforts in Louisiana following Hurricane Katrina. Americares says every $10 donation allows it to provide $200 worth of aid, due to its relationships with pharmaceutical companies that donate supplies. You can donate online or call 800-486-HELP.
“Right now we’re focused on meeting the health needs of survivors. At this stage of response we’re working on immediate need,” said Donna Porstner, associate direct of media relations at Americares. They have shipped out bottled water and tetanus vaccines to keep first responders and others safe when sifting through debris. When the storm passes, they will focus on replacing damaged medicine and supplies at clinics and community health centers.
You can give to the Salvation Army online or by mail, or phone. To call, dial 800-SAL-ARMY, or send a check specifying Harvey relief to PO Box 1959, Atlanta, GA 30301.
The US Catholic Church’s domestic relief agency will provide aid to victims of Harvey regardless of their religion or background. It offers online donations and the opportunity to donate by texting CCUSADISASTER to 71777.
This international relief organization says it has responded to nine disasters in Texas since 2015. It plans to strip damaged homes of floors and walls damaged by water and work with partner churches to provide relief. You can donate on their website or sign up to volunteer in the area. 828-262-1980.
For those wanting to combat hunger during the weeks of recovery ahead, donors can give to Feeding Texas, part of a national network committed to fostering food security in the state through food banks. 512-527-3613