Hurricane Harvey, a Good Starting Point for Volunteerism

by Kimberly Blaker
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> “Remember that the happiest people are not those getting more, but those giving more.” – H. Jackson Brown Jr.
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> More than a million Houston area residents have been displaced following the devastating destruction of Hurricane Harvey. Regardless of where you live, opportunities are available to assist in the aftermath.

One of the simplest and most effective ways to help is to donate money to one of the many non-profit organizations offering relief.

Consider the following organizations for your monetary donations:
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> Texas Diaper Bank
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> Houston Coalition for the Homeless
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> Portlight for people with disabilities
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> Global Giving
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> American Red Cross
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> SPCA of Texas for displaced pets
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> Save the Children
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> Driscoll Children’s Hospital
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> There are many other organizations assisting as well. But be sure to do your research before giving.

Look up organizations on Charity Navigator to help ensure your donations will be used appropriately.
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> If you’d like to help Hurricane Harvey survivors in other ways, diapers, baby food, formula, clothing, food, and activities such as coloring books, puzzles, and games are needed at the shelters.

But call first before dropping off your donations. If the items aren’t needed at a particular location, it burdens the local organizations and volunteers whose efforts are crucially needed elsewhere.

Space to store such items can also be a problem.
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> You can volunteer to help Hurricane Harvey victims in the following ways as well:
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> Donate blood through South Texas Blood and Tissue Center or Carter BloodCare. Both O positive and O negative are the most direly needed.
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> Sign up (in person) to offer your help with cleanup at Austin Disaster Relief Network’s Hope Family Thrift Store. You can also drop off your donations of undergarments, cleaning tools, toiletries, and inflatable mattresses.
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> Donate construction clean up supplies and equipment to Coastal Bend Disaster Recovery Group
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> If you own a boat or vehicle that can handle high water and would like to help with rescue efforts, contact the Houston area Sherriff’s office.


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