Many are asking the question. What can I do? How can I help? This little article is going to give a quick overview of what is really needed.
There are so many small rescue centers located in schools and churches all over the Houston area. If you are within the Houston community, you are in a unique position to be helpful to your extremely localized area.
Pay attention to local posts, look up your closest schools on Facebook and see what they might need immediately. These types of donation needs won’t be found on any large resource websites, but can be just as vital as other ways to give. Ask your community what it might need.
Don’t donate large bags of random stuff you found in your closet. The last thing volunteers need is to waste time sifting through a lot of unnecessary items (like home decor you don’t want, or random kitchen utensils found in your drawers.) Be conscious of what you are giving and to who. Meet needs. Don’t just purge random junk. Suggested items you might consider:
- Clothes will be needed. Socks, t-shirts, basics for all ages
- Towels, blankets and pillows
- Pantry items, especially non perishables
- Games and toys for super bored kiddos with nothing to do
- Inflatable mattresses
- Cleaning supplies
These items will be needed at many locations taking in displaced Harvey victims, the largest being the George R. Brown Convention Center, which has already taken in over 9,000 people (as of Tuesday, August 29, 2017).
The best way to give right now is by monetary donation, and a lot of organizations will benefit from these types of donations. It also may be the simplest way to help as you can do it online from your mobile device. Make sure you only give to reputable sources.
Red Cross: donate at redcross.org
SPCA of Texas is helping displaced pets: spca.org
Rescued Pets Movement is helping transport rescued pets: rescuedpetsmovement.org
Texas Diaper Bank is helping people with small children: texasdiaperbank.org
Houston Food Bank: houstonfoodbank.org
George R. Brown Convention Center: grbhouston.com
Volunteering is also an important way to give.
- If you have a boat or high water vehicle, Harris County Sheriff’s Office wants your help with rescues. To coordinate with their efforts, call 713-881-3100.
- Open your home to disaster victims through airbnb.com
- Give blood through South Texas Blood and Tissue Center, 210-731-5590
- Visit volunteerhouston.org supported by over 1,200 agencies
- Visit Texas Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster at txvoad.communityos.org