Here’s How You Can Help Houston

Here’s How You Can Help Houston

We don’t usually cover current events, but with everything going on in our nearby Houston, our focus is solely on helping those in need at the moment.

When we asked how to help, we were pointed to this Texas Monthly article that listed off a great many resources and ways to give to relief efforts of all kinds.  Of course you can always donate funds to the Red Cross or Salvation Army, but if you’re looking for more specific ways to help, we’ve included the information from the Texas Monthly article outlining ways in which you can help below.

We’ve heard from friends in the area that the biggest needs at shelters right now are diapers, formula, blankets and socks.  But the needs are so great and will be for some time, every little bit helps. Most collection centers are accepting underwear, socks, warmups for children and adults, toiletries and personal hygiene products, baby formula, wipes, diapers, bottles, and Graco Pack’n’Plays for babies to sleep in. Check your local news for information on drop off locations.

Please pray for those affected by the hurricane and help in whatever ways you can. Feel free to drop more in the comments or reach out if you need further assistance or if you are in the Houston area and there is anything we can do for you. If you have larger items you are able to donate in the coming weeks (appliances, etc.), we are more than happy to help you figure out how to do that by working our networks and finding homes in need. (The Salvation Army is not focused on larger physical gifts at this time but will be once more immediate needs are met.)

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To Help Kids

The Texas Diaper Bank, which is based out of San Antonio, is putting together relief kits for families with very small children who need access to clean diapers in the midst of flooding and evacuations. Diapers take up a lot of space in a delivery truck, which means that other relief organizations have to decide between bringing diapers or food to affected areas. The Texas Diaper Bank fills in that need.

The Driscoll Children’s Hospital in Corpus Christi weathered the storm well, never losing power. It’s accepting financial donations now, and if you live in the area and want to help, you can also donate blood. They serve a large area, and people from many affected parts of the coast are likely to need their services.

To Help Animals

The SPCA of Texas is taking in hundreds of animals transferred from shelters on the coast who aren’t safe where they are right now. You can donate to the organization to help defray the costs—or you can open your home and foster a displaced animal until it can be reunited with its owner.

If you’re in Austin and want to work with a local org, Austin Pets Alive! is doing similar work, and has similar needs—cash, to keep operating, and volunteers to foster animals. They can also use certain pet supplies: large plastic or metal bins with lids to store food, leashes and collars, cat litter, large brooms, cat-specific beds, and liquid laundry soap. (The organization says they’re good on crates and pet food now, and don’t have much space to store them.)

To Help People With Medical Needs

Even as relief organizations work to help large numbers of people, it’s difficult sometimes for them to provide for people with special needs. Portlight is working to ensure that people who require medical equipment and assistive technology have what they need after they evacuate, and to make sure that those same folks are able to get to safety. They accept donations via PayPal.

Direct Relief USA offers prescription drugs and other medical supplies to those who need it in emergency situations, and works with clinics and primary care doctors to ensure that people are able to get what they need when they need it. They’re accepting financial contributions.

To Provide Food

Here’s a list of food banks in both affected areas and in places where those affected are likely to spend some time in the immediate aftermath of the storm (via the Houston Press):

Houston Food Bank
832-369-9390
houstonfoodbank.org

Galveston Food Bank
409-945-4232
galvestoncountyfoodbank.org

Food Bank of the Golden Crescent (Victoria)
361-578-0591
victoriafoodbank.org
Closed Friday

Corpus Christi Food Bank
361-887-6291
foodbankcc.com

Southeast Texas Food Bank (Beaumont)
409-839-8777
setxfoodbank.org

Food Bank of the Rio Grande Valley (Pharr)
956-682-8101
foodbankrgv.com

Brazos Valley Food Bank (Bryan)
979-779-3663
bvfb.org

Central Texas Food Bank (Austin)
512-282-2111
centraltexasfoodbank.org

San Antonio Food Bank
210-337-3663
safoodbank.org

To Help The Homeless

The Houston Coalition for the Homeless is facilitating shelter for homeless people in Houston, including offering up-to-date information about which shelters currently have space, who’s the best fit for each one, and how to get there safely. They’re accepting financial donations to continue their work.

To Help Those Displaced

If you’re not in one of the affected areas and you have a spare room, you can host someone by listing your home on Airbnb for free, with no service fees to anyone. Right now, most of the listings are in Austin, Dallas, and San Antonio. If you’re in any of those cities—or another part of the state that’s not experiencing flooding—you might consider listing your space so displaced people have more options.

In Dallas, Trusted World is operating three shelters for evacuees. They need donations, supplies (clean clothing, non-perishable food, toiletries, diapers, and baby formula), and volunteers to help sort out the things that people have dropped off.

Global Giving is trying to raise $2 million to help those affected by the storm. The organization provides food, gas, clean water, hygiene products, and shelter in the short-term, and then funnels the remaining resources to local organizations to facilitate long-term recovery.

HEB doesn’t accept donations, but it’s worth being aware that the supermarket chain provides emergency response services, mobile kitchens, and disaster-response units to affected areas. (They also announced on Sunday that they’d be collecting donations at the register for the American Red Cross, The Salvation Army, and Feeding Texas.) That’s especially important as a number of stores in affected areas (including the entire Houston area) are closed. You can learn more about which stores are closed—and which ones have reopened—here.

Of course you can always donate funds to the Red Cross or Salvation Army, and if you have larger items to donate in the coming weeks, we are more than happy to help you figure out how to do that by working our networks and finding homes in need.

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