“This is not the time to be donating products or even services… That’s frequently the urge, and most often that is the wrong thing to do…. With the floods blocking off streets, when warehouses are not available, there’s no place for these products — there’s no place to store anything, there’s no place to distribute anything. And that’s going to be the case for some time.” – Bob Ottenhoff, president and CEO of the Center for Disaster Philanthropy
Instead, he says, people should give money to groups they trust, and that have the ability to provide aid where it’s needed most.
Derrick Chubbs, president and CEO of the Central Texas Food Bank in Austin, agrees that cash donations are best for groups like his, which is trying to help with emergency food distributions. The Houston food bank — the largest in the country — has been shut down by flooding, so others in the state food bank network are pitching in.
“I say donate funds, because we can use those to purchase exactly the type of disaster relief supplies that are going to be most helpful,” Chubbs says. “It also avoids complications of sorting and having to distribute varied types of food items.”
With the above words in mind – here are some organizations you can online donations to support relief efforts in Houston:
- The Austin Disaster Relief Network is accepting monetary and survivor item donations.
- The Central Texas Food Bank is accepting donations to help fund the purchase of emergency food boxes filled with ready-to-eat items that are easy for families to use. They purchase pre-prepared boxes and distribute them quickly to the areas affected by the storm. With your help, we can help families recover from this disaster:
- Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner has established the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund, which will accept tax deductible flood relief donations.
- To donate to American Red Cross, text REDCROSS to 90999 to give $10 to American Red Cross Disaster Relief
- Volunteer in Affected Areas: National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster and the Texas VOAD both provide links to those who wish to register to volunteer with organizations working in the field. Officials are asking that volunteers please do not self-deploy, as unexpectedly showing up to any of the communities that have been impacted by Hurricane Harvey will create an additional burden for first responders.