When Hurricane Harvey roared ashore on the Texas coast on Friday evening, August 25, it was the first Category 4 hurricane to make landfall in the U.S. since Hurricane Charley in 2004. As you’ve likely seen from the haunting news footage, the storm dropped more than 4 feet of rain on the Greater Houston and surrounding areas, causing utter destruction. Thousands of homes, businesses, churches and other facilities were flooded with chest-deep (or higher) water. To say that Harvey significantly impacted Texas coastal communities, including Houston, is an understatement. Many of these localities will never be the same and will take years to recover some semblance of normalcy.
It’s normal to feel helpless in the face of such overwhelming destruction, especially when we’re so far away from Texas here in the Richmond, Virginia area. However, there are simple ways that you can help. The most direct method is to donate money and resources.
It’s despicable but true: scammers try to take advantage of disastrous situations and swindle victims who’ve lost nearly everything to Hurricane Harvey or those who want to donate toward Hurricane Harvey relief. To avoid this racket, never wire money to any organization claiming they’ll help flood victims – once wired, your money can’t be retrieved.
To help you identify local and national organizations with strong track records of using donations to directly help victims suffering in tragedy’s wake, we’ve compiled a list of reputable organizations, below. Whether you want to donate $10, $100 or more, it’s important to know that the organizations you’re donating to will use your donation most effectively.
The following organizations are best bets for donating your hard-earned money to help people who may have lost nearly everything:
- The American Red Cross is on the scene in Houston, making sure displaced flood victims have clean water, shelter and warm meals. You can donate on their website or you can quickly send them $10 by texting REDCROSS to 9099; charges will appear on your next bill. The Red Cross has local blood drives scheduled around the Richmond area in September; if you’re not in a position to donate money, consider donating blood.
- The United Way of Greater Houston has launched its United Way Relief Fund, where 100% of donations go toward local flood relief and help Gulf coast communities recover with both immediate needs in addition to longer-term help such as minor home repairs. Donate on their website above, or use your cell phone to text UWFLOOD to 41444.
- The Texas Diaper Bank, located in San Antonio, needs donations to buy diapers and wipes that will support the thousands of families with babies and toddlers who lost everything in the storm.
- The Houston Food Bank needs our support to provide food and supplies to the thousands of residents devastated by this natural disaster who will be struggling to rebuild their lives in the coming months.
- Both the Houston SPCA and the Houston Humane Society need your donations to help rescue and care for animals who have been impacted by Hurricane Harvey and left homeless or abandoned.
If you or a family member have suffered a personal injury due to the negligence of another, consult a personal injury attorney with experience handling such claims and cases. At Commonwealth Law Group we are Richmond, Virginia personal injury lawyers with the experience and knowledge to advise you about how to proceed when tragedies including drunk driving accidents, auto accidents or tractor trailer accidents occur. Call for your free consultation: 804-298-2791.