How You Can Help the Victims of Hurricane Harvey

August 29, 2017

2:55 pm

Blankets, shoes, underwear, pet food, diapers, socks, water…the basics are needed for the human and pet victims of Hurricane Harvey. This Category 4 hurricane that landed on Friday night continues to dump rain and gain strength to hit more of the coastal states. This storm has been labeled as the worst and most costly disaster in the US in years reaching potentially $40B in damage.

The storm is expected to displace over 30,000 people from their homes. The residents of Houston have been the hardest hit across the region with continual widespread and unprecedented flooding in the surrounding areas. In Houston alone, there are over 9,000 people displaced and most living in the convention center, some with only the clothes on their back.

We at TechCo are helping to get the word out and encourage people to donate to verified charities and organizations to help in this relief effort. The American Red Cross has also put out an all call emergency for blood, if you can donate please click here to find a location.

*Please note that there are scams out there and criminals are trying to take advantage of people, leading them to donate to fake charities. See our warnings at the end of the article.

National Donation Options

If you’re interested in helping the people affected by Hurricane Harvey, here is a list of reputable organizations that you can donate to:

*Remember to check your local grocery stores for donation drives as well.

 

Texas-Specific Volunteer and Donation Options

If you want to make more of a local effort, there are also Texas-specific relief efforts to assist with pet shelters, giving blood, etc.

How to Volunteer in Texas

  • Harris County rescue efforts need to borrow boats/high water vehicles: call (713) 881-3100
  • The Houston Police Department has put the call out for boat owners looking to volunteer to assist with water rescues. If you have a boat and you’d like to help, call (713) 881-3100. If you can’t get through on the first call, the department suggests to keep trying.
  • Convoy of Hope – Hurricane Harvey Volunteer sign up
  • National VOAD
  • Salvation Army – Volunteers
  • Montrose Center: LGBT Community Donations/Volunteers
  • Coastal Bend Disaster Recovery Group

Austin

The following charities and organizations are Austin specific and are maintained by maintained by a team from CreativeMornings/Austin on a volunteer basis.

Volunteer opportunities
Volunteer and/or Donate:
  • Austin Pets Alive  needs help fostering transferred animals. See list of their current needs for volunteers and items to be donated. And you can donate directly to their Amazon Wishlist.
  • Burger Stadium in Austin is now open as evacuee center. Urgent need: diapers, sanitary products, clothing, shoes. No food. Drop off at entrance.
  • Counter Balance ATX (non-profit org. dedicated to improving the quality of life for impoverished women) is seeking volunteers to help research, identify, and confirm places that are acting as shelters for evacuees.
  • Austin Disaster Relief Network: The Hope Family Thrift Store at 1122 E 51st Street will be receiving donations. See this list for needed items.

Donate

  • uShip is partnering with Austin-area companies to collect donations. They are opening their office to serve as a collection center. Donations will be accepted through the end of this week, shipping out this weekend.
  • Lyft’sHarvey Relief Supply Drive: Thursday, 8/31 at EastSide Tavern open to all, not just drivers, despite the site’s text
  • Central Texas Food Bank
  • Austin Diaper Bank 
  • Art Supply Drive benefiting families in Houston shelters
  • Austin Justice Coalition – Donation drop-offs and pick-ups
  • United Way of Texas 

Beware of Scams

Before you donate to victims of Hurricane Harvey, make sure you know exactly where your donation is going. If you receive any solitication via email, social media or text, make sure to check the name of it and verify the name at one of these sites such as GiveWellCharity NavigatorCharity Watch, or the Better Business Bureau to make sure an organization is legitimate. Remember to not click on any link just because it has a name of a charity.

Thank you for donating.

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Tishin is a technology journalist and correspondent. She has written for TechCrunch, Demand Studios and Fitness, and has regular network segments on local Phoenix affiliate stations. She holds a Master's degree in Clinical and Sport psychology, and has covered many areas of technology ranging from 3D printing and game development to neurotech and funding for over 15 years.

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