Many of you know that the city of Houston was hit and flooded badly by Hurricane Harvey last week, and Hurricane Irma is set to slam into Florida over the weekend. Many people in both states are being very badly affected by these storms, and if you would like to donate to a charitable foundation to help with the relief effort, here is a short list of reliable organizations to avoid being scammed (because some people have no human decency).
Some organizations in Texas include:
The Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund of Houston’s mayor, Sylvester Turner, which is administered by the Greater Houston Community Foundation.
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Houston is opening its doors at no charge this week, and offering extended hours. To donate, visit its website.
Houston Food Bank and the Food Bank of Corpus Christi are asking for donations.
The Houston Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has set up an animal emergency response hotline (713-861-3010) and is accepting donations on its website.
The Texas Diaper Bank in San Antonio is asking for diapers and wipes, which can be dropped off in person or mailed to 5415 Bandera Road, Suite 504, San Antonio, Tex., 78238.
The United Way of Greater Houston flood relief fund will be used to help with immediate needs as well as long-term services like minor home repair. Visit its website to donate or text UWFLOOD to 41444.
The L.G.B.T.Q. Disaster Relief Fund will be used to help people “rebuild their lives through counseling, case management, direct assistance with shelf stable food, furniture, housing and more.”
The Federal Emergency Management Agency recommends checking with the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster for a list of trusted disaster-relief organizations in Texas.
On the other hand, some good national charities are:
All Hands Volunteers will be working on damaged homes and removing debris.
The American Kidney Fund is providing emergency financial grants to dialysis patients.
The American Red Cross is accepting donations. You can also text HARVEY to 90999 to donate $10.
AmeriCares takes medicine and supplies to survivors.
Catholic Charities provides food, clothing, shelter and support services to those from all religious backgrounds.
Matthew 25: Ministries is distributing personal care kits, cleaning products, first aid and safety kits, diapers, paper products and tarps.
Donations to the Salvation Army can be made online, by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769) or texting STORM to 51555.
Save the Children is delivering baby supplies, including cribs and strollers, and setting up child-friendly spaces in shelters.
Samaritan’s Purse volunteer teams are helping homeowners by cutting trees and adding tarps to roofs, among other tasks.
SBP, a national disaster recovery nonprofit, will conduct damage assessment and help residents rebuild.
AABB, which coordinates a task force to manage blood collection during disasters, put out a call for blood donations. Most in demand: those with type O-positive blood.
Those interested in donating blood may contact the following organizations: AABB, America’s Blood Centers, American Red Cross and Armed Services Blood Program.
Then there are some 0nline organizations:
Airbnb is waiving service fees for those affected by the disaster and checking in between Aug. 23 and Sept. 25, and can guide users in creating a listing where their home is offered to victims free.
GoFundMe has created a page with all of its Harvey-related campaigns, including one started by the country singer Chris Young, who donated $100,000, and another created by the president and chief executive of the Rockport-Fulton Chamber of Commerce.
YouCaring has a fund-raising page set up by J. J. Watt of the Houston Texans with a goal of $20 million. On Tuesday evening, Mr. Watt posted a video to Twitter, announcing that the fund had reached its goal and thanking those who donated.
GlobalGiving’s Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund supports local organizations by helping to “meet survivors’ immediate needs for food, fuel, clean water, hygiene products and shelter.”
Finally, if there are any charities you aren't sure about, here are some resources to avoid being scammed:
The Charity Navigator website, which identifies worthy charities, has a list of organizations responding after the storm. Its database is a good starting place to research nonprofits if you're interested in learning more.
The Internal Revenue Service website has search tools that reveal whether an organization is eligible to receive tax-deductible charitable contributions.
Thank you so, so much for any and all donations. The people of Houston, Florida and the Caribbean all need as much help as they can get.