The people of southeast Texas and southwest Louisiana have experienced extreme devastation and will continue to feel the effects for months and years to come. Hurricane Harvey was relentless and cruel. Many of these people live in areas that have never flooded. Most do not have flood insurance. Many live within modest means and will never be able to rebuild their homes. Others are not homeowners, but lost their homes, none the less, and have lost all of their possessions. Many of these people have pets that need temporary homes or, sadly, a new forever home. And most devastating of all, some people lost family members, pets, and friends. Harvey’s destruction not only took lives but will change the lives of thousands of people and animals forever.
I live in Denton, TX near Dallas and Fort Worth and am several hundred miles from southeast Texas. My life has not been impacted. I don’t have family or friends that were impacted. My greatest inconvenience was that I had to wait in line for 15 minutes to fill up my gas tank. Those of us not in the path of Hurricane Harvey are fortunate and just plain lucky.
At Costco, people were loading up their carts with bottled water, non-perishable food, underwear, clothes, and other items to donate to the victims. A young couple had just put several boxes of shampoo into their cart when the young woman went over to the feminine products. The young man was a little embarrassed, but she insisted that they needed to get those, also. I looked at them with admiration and told them, “I think that’s a great item to give. Women are going to need those products, too.” He nodded his head and smiled as she placed a dozen boxes into their cart.
People all over Texas and Louisiana, the United States, and even the world are donating goods, money, and their time and resources to help the people and animals impacted by Harvey. The survivors need help not only today and next week, but will need help for months to come. As I’m writing this post, some of the groups supporting the recovery efforts have been overwhelmed with goods and are now asking for monetary donations so they can purchase the items as they are needed going forward. Please keep that in mind when deciding what to donate and to whom.
There are many ways you can help.
1. Here are a several of the national organizations that are accepting donations.
2. Many animal rescue organizations need your help, too. These groups not only need donations, but they also need volunteers to help with the animals and to provide foster homes till permanent homes can be found. Check their Facebook pages for up to the hour information about their efforts and needs.
- Austin Pets Alive
- Houston Humane Society
- Houston SPCA
- SPCA of Texas
- San Antonio Humane Society
- EARS (Education & Animal Rescue Society) – This is a north Texas rescue organization that I support. They are looking for foster homes for dogs that were lost in the hurricane or evacuated from the shelters that were flooded.
3. For a more detailed list of organizations supporting the relief efforts in the Houston area, see The Houston Chronicle.
4. The Charity Navigator also lists charities providing assistance.
5. Here in the DFW area, many local businesses and restaurants are donating a portion of their proceeds to Hurricane Harvey relief. To see if your local favorites are contributing, check their websites or Facebook pages for dates and times, and support their efforts to help. It’s also a nice way to sit down with your family and friends and appreciate what you have together.
I know that not everyone is able to donate to those impacted by Hurricane Harvey. Nor will everyone give to them. However, I do hope that we all reflect on the good things in our lives and help those in need whenever possible. That we help others whether it be to Harvey survivors or someone in our own community. It may be that we volunteer at our local food bank or animal shelter. Or that we participant in a fund raiser for Alzheimer’s disease or drop a few dollars into the Salvation Army bucket during the holidays. Every effort, no matter how big or small, has value to someone in need. Every act of goodwill benefits someone.
Thank you for your kindness.
Photo Credit: NASA/NOAA GOES Project