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31 Aug 2017

Hurricane Harvey 2017 – How You Can Help Support The Communities In Need

The charity sector always does a fantastic job of binding together to help communities affected by catastrophic disasters across the globe. Unfortunately, that time has come around again where we need to help those in need. Hurricane Harvey is a category 4 hurricane that has devastated the coastal areas of Texas and has claimed the title of the wettest and most devastating hurricane that the United States has seen in over a decade. To date, the disaster has inundated hundreds of thousands of homes, displaced over 30,000 people, left over 13,000 people requiring rescue, and, as of Wednesday August 30th 2017, the death toll has risen to 18.

Large corporations such as Amazon, Boeing, and Houston-based Cheniere Energy, to name a few, have already given their support and have donated over $1 million to the cause. But the American Red Cross is calling for the donations of everyone to support the thousands left stranded, and to help towards the estimated $40 billion of damage that Harvey has caused.

While it’s useful to send food, clothing or other helpful goods, it’s important to make sure that the charity you are donating to has the infrastructure and facilities to be able to distribute these appropriately. Many charitable organizations will be limited to cash donations that they can much easier keep track of and distribute to the right people when and where they need it. Despite this, there are different ways to help, here are a few ways that you can get involved and do your part:

Donations

You can easily donate to the cause; your pledges go a long way to helping support those in need. Here are a few great causes that are accepting Hurricane Harvey donations:

American Red Cross – To make a financial donation, visit their website, call 1.800.RED CROSS or text HARVEY to 90999 to make a $10 donation for those in need.

The Salvation Army – To make a financial donation, visit their website, call 1.800.SAL ARMY, or text STORM to 51555.

Global Giving – To make a financial donation, visit their website or text HARVEY to 80100 to donate $10 to Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund.

Donations will support the recovery and relief efforts for Hurricane Harvey. The funds will help first responders meet survivors' immediate needs for food, fuel, clean water, hygiene products, and shelter. Once initial relief work is complete, it will contribute towards the transition to support longer-term recovery efforts.

Give your time

If you can’t donate financially, you can always donate your time to local homeless and animal shelters. It’s probably better to stay away from the directly impacted areas as it could be unsafe and these will already be manned by charity volunteers and trained professionals. But that doesn’t mean you can’t support smaller local charities that are doing their part. The Houston Food Bank is ready to receive and distribute non-perishable food goods and are asking for volunteers, it’s not too late to get involved!

Here are a few other organizations that are currently searching for volunteers:

Samaritans Purse – Volunteers will be assisting homeowners affected by Hurricane Harvey. Visit their website and get in contact with their volunteer co-ordinators.

Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster – Register your interest in volunteering today and volunteer in the impacted areas when it becomes safe. You can register on their website.

You can also volunteer if you are a trained professional. Houston is currently looking for chefs to cook for the victims and Health & Mental Health Professionals to deploy into the affected areas.

Give blood

Many of the hospitals that are local to the impacted areas are reporting shortages of blood and are seeking donations that can support the victims injured by the storm. There are particular shortages of O positive and O negative but people of all blood types are being encouraged to donate. Here are a few ways you can give blood:

American Red Cross – You can donate blood even if you don’t live in Texas, find out how on their website.

Driscoll Children’s Hospital -  The hospital in Corpus Christi is accepting blood donations as well as looking for financial support, more information is available on their website.

Carter BloodCare – There are many centres across Texas that are accepting blood donations, you can find if there is a centre near you on their website.


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