Wednesday, August 30

Helping Hands ~@AuthorKristina Knight

I've been watching the coverage of Hurricane Harvey off and on since the weekend, and as it always does, the coverage breaks my heart. According to Brock Long, a FEMA administrator, nearly 500,000 people will likely qualify for federal flood victim status, and shelters have already helped more than 30,000 people in the short-term with a safe place to stay...but even though Harvey is moving away, the need through Texas and the Gulf Coast won't recede as quickly as the flood waters do. 

Most of you know I was a journalist before I started my publishing career; over my years of reporting I covered flooding, tornadoes, and other natural disasters. What I saw during those events were hundreds and thousands of people showing up in the immediate aftermath of a big event...and that is amazing and wonderful and so needed. But, within a week or two or three, all those volunteers go back to their homes and families and jobs, as they should, and those left are those who have lost homes, businesses, family members, jobs. Many of them will still be living in temporary shelters, depending on food banks and free meals, and trying to figure out how to rebuild the lives that were interrupted by an act of nature. 

So, I thought I'd share a couple of donation outlets - volunteer and relief organizations that will be working on the ground long after the news outlets have stopped their coverage of the tornado. These organizations need volunteers right now, this is absolutely true, but more than that they're going to need donations of money so that they can continue buying food, water, basic necessities like toilet paper, toiletries like deodorant and tooth paste, and even clothing and shoes for those who have lost so much. 

The Salvation Army: 
• Call 1-800-SAL-ARMY
• Text "STORM" to 51555
Donate to the Salvation Army Online  

The American Red Cross: 
• Call 1-800-RED-CROSS
• Text "HARVEY" to 90999 ($10 DONATION)
Donate to the Red Cross Online  

The United Way of Greater Houston

Food Banks
Feeding Texas
Houston and Galveston and Corpus Christi Food Banks

The SPCA of Texas

It may not seem like a lot to donate only $5 or $10, but all those donations add up quickly.  

4 comments:

  1. Such important information! Last month I read a new YA book, Between Two Skies, which takes place during and after Katrina in a small town outside of New Orleans. And what--in my secure NW bubble--hadn't realized was how long the recovery takes. Especially because the news cycle seems to get bored with it and we assume--or at least I have--that no news is good news.

    I like being able to text and donate. I think I'm going to try and do it every week. Walgreens --and probably other retailers--has started Red Cross donations as the register.

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  2. Thanks, Liz!

    I agree, Margie, the news cycle moves on but the people in the affected areas are still there. A handful of stores up here are starting donations at the register, too, and I think that is wonderful.

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  3. Thanks for reminding us of this important information, Kristina. My thoughts are with the people of Houston.

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