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
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.