Sitting in the bone dry desert that is Southern Utah, it's hard to know how to process what is happening in Texas right now. At least 30 deaths and many more injuries are believed to be related to the storm, which has inundated parts of the Houston area with more than 40 inches of rain. In some places, totals have surpassed 50 inches, setting a record for the continental United States. At least a quarter of the land mass of Harris County, which includes Houston, is flooded, according to Jeffrey Lindner, a meteorologist for the Harris County Flood Control District. My heart is broken watching the news, reading the Facebook updates and talking to friends and family as they are evacuating or unsure about their homes. Social media is full of articles like this one from CBS news about what not to do, so I thought I would investigate what we should do and how to help with hurricane (now tropical storm) Harvey.
If you're looking for some entertainment, a Utah local has started his own campaign to help raise funds. Collin Kartchner is an Instagram Stories favorite (@collinkartchner) and in the last 24 hours has raised almost $15,000 raffling off donations. The donations include everything from his "nuch" merch to botox to financial planning services and we are happily following along in his shenanigans. The entire effort has been an incredible joint effort to witness as more and more brands and shops have happily donated. Efforts like this-sending cash instead of physical supplies-have been proven more effective in disaster relief.
Along with him, a bunch of nonprofit organizations are working to mobilize relief for those affected, with some putting a specific focus on more vulnerable communities:
- The American Red Cross is urging people to call 1-800-RED-CROSS or text HARVEY to 90999 to make a $10 donation for those in need.
- The Texas Diapers Bank is putting together relief kits for mothers and children and soliciting financial donations. According to the nonprofit, diapers are not provided by disaster relief agencies.
- The national Save the Children campaign has also set up a specific fund for Harvey relief.
- The disaster relief fundraiser Portlight focuses specifically on assisting disabled individuals.
- The SPCA of Texas and Humane Society of North Texas are working along with The Houston Humane Society and the San Antonio Humane Society to help animals affected by the storm.
- The Hurricane Harvey Relief Fundwas established by Mayor Sylvester Turner of Houston and is administered by the Greater Houston Community Foundation.
- The Houston Food Bank, the Galveston County Food Bank and the Food Bank of Corpus Christiare accepting online donations.
- Team Rubicon is a national organization that deploys military veterans to aid emergency responders.
- Well-respected international aid organization Direct Relief is mobilizing resources are also mobilizing resources.
- Crowdfunding site Global Giving has set a goal of raising $2 million dedicated to Harvey, and GoFundMe has published a directory of Harvey-related campaigns set up on its platform.
- Those who live in northern Texas and have not been displaced by the storm can donate blood or offer to share their house as shelter on Airbnb.
- Facebook has a number of Crisis Relief funds started on their fundraising section.
Unfortunately, some scams are circulating online. Here are a few things to watch out for. If you have any non-profits to add to our list, please comment below!
Texas we love you!!
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