Watching Harvey impact Texas is truly heartbreaking and it’s easy to feel helpless. What do you do when you’re watching highways turn into lakes and people climbing on roofs to be rescued?
Whether or not you’re in Texas, you can still lend a hand. I know some are donating to Red Cross, which is honorable and considerate. However, there are some who steer away because the donations do not go directly towards victims and they’ve come under a lot of scrutiny because of it (you can read about Katrina, Haiti, and Sandy. Also, how much of your money will go to Harvey victims? I don’t know and neither do they).
But enough about that, here are 15 ways to help Harvey victims:
1. Baker Ripley Recovery can take a while. Baker Ripley helps people after the devastation to get back on their feet.
2. Hurricane Relief Fund Started by the Mayor of Houston Sylvester Turner, connections the community with how to help. Mayor Turner also announced if anyone is unlawfully asked for immigration papers or detained during the evacuation, he will represent the victims himself (BOOM!)
3. HEB’s Disaster Relief Fund. HEB set up food trucks the next day to help feed the community and they’re not stopping.
Other food banks to donate: Galveston Food Bank, San Antonio Food Bank, Feeding Texas
4. Amazon Wish List Headed by Civil Rights Attorney and Activist S Lee Merritt, a composed a list that will go directly to those affected. If you want to send items but you’re out of state, here’s your chance!
5. Corazon Ministries Remember the 50 immigrants that were left by ICE during the evacuation? This church took them in like the decent human beings we were created to be.
6. Texas Library Relief Fund Libraries are a vital place for the community. Providing study materials, books, movies, classes, and simple safe havens, many have been destroyed and will need to be repaired when the rebuilding starts.
7. LGBTQ Disaster Relief Fund Minority communities, including the LGBTQ, are often impacted the hardest by natural disasters. For LGBTQ displaced persons, resources have been gathered to give them aid.
8. Texas Diaper Bank The organization based in San Antonio will put together relief kits to make sure babies are fed and diapered without worry. They also collect adult diapers for seniors and those with disabilities.
9. Direct Relief USA A lot of people don’t have access to their pharmacy and even those who have government assistance won’t be able to see their doctor to get the medications they need.
10. The Transgender Foundation of America Transgender and intersex persons have often turned away from shelters during disasters. Thankfully, The Transgender Foundation of America has set up a relief to help curve this horrible situation.
11. I Support Girls. Periods don’t stop for anything or any event. Young girls and women don’t need to worry about what to do when that time of the month comes.
Also consider: Homeless Period Project of Austin
12. Black Women’s Defense League An organization in Dallas working with Houston activists to bring aid to underserved communities.
13. Living Hope Wheelchair Association Helping those with spinal cord injuries and disabilities, LHWA has been directly involved with rescue missions. A lot of people lost their wheelchairs and this need is so great for them, especially to the underprivileged community they serve.
14. The Way Home Working to end homelessness in Fort Bend and Harris County, they’ve partnered with shelters to make sure people have a place to stay.
15. Portlight Another organization that helps people with disabilities and people who require medical obtain shelter.
These are just some of the organizations you can donate to. If you want more, please check out No Red Cross and Colorlines for more. *Note: some of the information is identical, as they helped me compile the list of organizations.
If you have any questions on who to donate to, use Charity Navigator to do your research.
Photo credit: Jay Janner for Austin Statesman/AP. See more photos of Harvey’s Aftermath here.