I know you've seen what's going on in south Texas. I know you've seen the devastation. I know you've seen your Facebook feed inundated with posts from friends seeking refuge for themselves or family members. It's incredibly heartbreaking, and for someone living outside of it while hoping and praying for friends and family who are in the thick of the suffering, I feel insanely helpless and useless through it all.
I grew up in Sugar Land, which is a suburb southwest of Houston, and my parents still live there. Thankfully their neighborhood is fine and they haven't lost power (knock on wood), but the storm is coming back their way after refueling in the Gulf, and experts fear the worst is yet to come. I have friends staying in hotels, family friends wading through waist-deep water with their dogs in their arms as they try to reach friends' houses, and friends who are riding it out at home, hoping and praying the water recedes and stays in their street versus seeping into their homes. I cried on the way to work this morning just thinking about all of this, and I realized how truly helpless I feel.
Even though there's nothing I can do in person to help, there ways you can help the masses, and I've rounded up a few ideas that fit any budget. Most of these are from The New York Times, so they've been vetted as trustworthy (I loathe that people use times of tragedy to capitalize on their scams, so if you are looking to help, please make sure you're not being scammed).
Here are some ways you can help right now:
Text HARVEY to 90999 to donate $10 to the American Red Cross. You can also visit the ARC's website to donate. You can also donate blood through the Red Cross.
If you want to donate medicine and supplies, you can do that through AmeriCares.
The Texas Diaper Bank needs urgently needs diapers as they do not receive donations through disaster relief funds. You can learn more about how you can help here.
If you want to donate to the Salvation Army, you can text STORM to 51555. You can also call them at 1-800-725-2769.
Please, please, please think of the stray animals (and animals that got loose from their owners) and consider donating to the Houston Humane Society.
The Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund was set up to specifically help victims of Hurricane Harvey.
Text UWFLOOD to 41444 to donate to the United Way.
As awful as all of this is, it's encouraging to see a city the size of Houston band together to help each other out, from rescuing people via boats and trucks, to Mattress Mack of Gallery Furniture opening up his showrooms to evacuees. He has people sitting and sleeping on his furniture that he would typically sell. If that doesn't speak volumes of the kind of person he is and his dedication to his city, I don't know what does.
Did I miss anything? Please share and I will update this post. Stay safe, friends. I'm praying for you.