Hurricane Harvey: Ways You Can Help Texas

It’s currently Day 3 of Hurricane Harvey here in Houston and the rain just. won’t. stop. Honestly, the catastrophic rain that this city has seen is surreal. Harvey made landfall in Rockport, TX on Friday night as a Category 4 hurricane, and the storm has been on a destructive path sending its awful rain bands all the way to Houston.

As many of you know, my hometown of Port Lavaca was evacuated last Thursday, as it’s only 45 minutes north of Rockport. My family hasn’t been able to make it home yet, and they’re getting tired, but they’re thankful to be safe. My best friend is praying for the creek she lives on to hold off from flooding her home.

My dad just drove through Rockport today to help a friend with roofing supplies, and the devastation he saw he said “looked like a war zone.” Homes and businesses completely destroyed, dead animals on the road, and debris everywhere.

And now here we are in Houston, glued to the news watching rescues of friends and neighbors, pleas for help, and evacuation and flash flood warnings being posted every hour. This weather even is unprecedented and some areas will see more than 50 INCHES OF RAIN by the time this is all said and done.

Our city is devastated, yet people keep showing up. It’s been beyond heartbreaking to watch friends leave their homes by boats and kayaks, yet they still give thanks to God to be alive praise HIM in this storm. Please continue to pray for our city and all of our friends south of us and around us who have experienced so much devastation from Hurricane Harvey.

Pray for the officials making decisions, pray for the people being rescued, pray for the people doing the rescuing, pray for the families left with nothing but the clothes on their back and a beating heart. Our city of Houston is resilient, yes, but we still need help. Here are ways you can do just that:

Donate & Volunteer

UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief)

I urge you to PLEASE, please give at UMCOR.ORG if you feel led to support in a monetary way. 100% of every penny you give helps relieve support in a natural disaster like #hurricaneharvey. UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief) is NOT a business (it is run by the Methodist General Conference) so all donated funds go directly to help pay for supplies and cover the costs of thing like food, fuel, and housing for the victims. Go to UMCOR.ORG to donate.

The American Red Cross

The American Red Cross organization is helping people by providing shelter and sending truck loads of supplies. The American Red Cross is urging people to call 1-800-RED CROSS or to text HARVEY to 90999 to donate $10. You can also click here to donate. To find out how you can volunteer for the American Red Cross click here. Red Cross is also seeking blood donations. Texas organization Carter BloodCare and South Texas Blood and Tissue Center are also seeking blood donations.

Salvation Army

The Salvation Army’s Emergency Disaster Services is working to help provide food and clothing to victims. Donors can call 1-800-SAL-ARMY or click here. The Salvation Army is also looking for volunteers; find out how you can help the Salvation Army here.

Americares

Americares, an emergency response organization based in Connecticut, is delivering relief supplies and working with a local clinic in Houston. They are taking donations here.

Legacy Collective

Straight from Jen Hatmaker’s Facebook page:

We are mobilizing funds as we speak. You can trust that every dollar will do the most good. We don’t give to orgs or leaders where we cannot track our donations straight to the need. Our vetting process is air tight.

You can join us if you have no idea how else to help. The truth is, Houston and the coast doesn’t need our stuff right now. They don’t need to wade through boxes of used clothes or things. They need financial help. Those other things will come, but right now, that sort of intervention just creates more work for them. We learned a lot after Katrina.

You can give a one-time donation or join our collective (we steadily fund sustainable solutions to systemic problems month after month together). We’re committed here.

I was telling a friend that it feels like watching our beloved neighbor’s house go up in flames, unable to get close enough to help. Here is a start: Legacy Collective.

Together Rising

Today, Together Rising made a $20,000 donation to the Houston Food Bank, and they are challenging all of us to do more for our brothers and sisters in Texas.

THEY WILL MATCH EVERY DONATION YOU MAKE UP TO $100,000. So, your donation will be doubled and every penny they receive from you will go to those suffering in Texas.

From the Facebook…
“Please let us not allow the fact that we cannot fix everything keep us from fixing something. Give a little with great love. That’s how we heal the world.”

You can give on their website or text TR4TEXAS to 41444 to get a prompt to make a tax-deductible donation.

Global Giving

Global Giving is aiming to raise $2 million to provide emergency supplies like food, water, and medicine as well as longer-term recovery assistance. Global Giving says all donations made to the fund will be exclusively used to support local relief and recovery efforts. Click here to learn how to donate.

Catholic Charities USA

The organization is urging people to donate to their disaster relief efforts by texting “CCUSADISASTER” to 71777.

Texas Diaper Bank

The Texas Diaper Bank is asking for cash and diaper donations to help provide for baby and senior citizen victims. Click here to learn how to donate.

Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner launched the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund. Funds will be administered by the Greater Houston Community Foundation and accepts tax-deductible flood-relief donations. To donate, click here.

United Way of Greater Houston

United Way of Greater Houston has set up a relief fund that people can donate to. The organization said its first priority is shelter and basic needs like food. The organization said it will also focus on long-term recovery efforts.

Preemptive Love Coalition

A phenomenal organization, Preemptive Love Coalition, has been working primarily in the middle east, doing unbelievable work there — and they now have people on the ground in the Houston area, ready to offer support to churches, families, and individuals. My friend and photographer Chelsea Davis is working with them to get monetary donations and items DIRECTLY to those in need. Chelsea plans to head to Houston at the end of the week to start helping in any way she can, and to get people the items they need. Here is a list of what we’ve been told are the highest priority items. If you can donate and are in the DFW area, let her know and she will pick up. If you can donate monetarily so the coalition can purchase these items, that would be a HUGE blessing too.

Houston Texans star J.J. Watt

The All-Pro defense end has set up a YouCaring page, originally setting a goal of raising $500,000. He’s reached that and raised it to one million. To help him reach this goal click here.

Kevin Hart Hurricane Harvey Relief Challenge

Comedian and actor Kevin Hart has challenged fellow celebrities to help Harvey victims. In the same spirit as the Icebucket Challenge, he pledged to donate $25,000, then tagged other celebrities and encouraged them to donate and tag others as well.

Kendra Scott

Tomorrow (Tuesday, August 29, 2017), Kendra Scott is donating 50% of online sales to the American Red Cross. Your support will help provide warm meals, shelter, and hope to families when they need it most. Might as well do some Christmas shopping and help the cause.

And for those directly affected

Airbnb has launched a site for people looking for a place to stay and for those who can offer shelter. Fees are waived for people who check in before September 1.

Start contacting FEMA now! Go to their website directly or contact the Disaster Assitance website. You can also call 1-800-621-FEMA for help.

If you have evacuated to a hotel or need to, please check the FEMA Evacuee Hotel List here. If you are eligible for Transitional Sheltering Assistance, FEMA will pay for the cost to stay in certain hotels or motels for a limited period of time. Costs covered are for the cost of the room and taxes, and any other expenses are not included.

Important numbers:

  • 211 for disaster-related information and to get help with unmet needs
  • 800-985-5990, Disaster Distress Helpline
  • 866-720-5721 or 844-889-4357, FEMA Disaster Fraud Hotline
  • 800-621-0508, Texas Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Hotline
  • 800-621-3362, FEMA Disaster Assistance registration (Video Relay Service users call here)
  • 800-462-7585, FEMA Disaster Assistance registration for those with hearing loss or a speech disability

Continue the prayers

And last but not least, let’s keep praying for peace, patience, love, kindness, and resilience. Devastation is happening all around us down here, but we will rebuild. It’s God’s promise.

Let’s end this with His word. Philippians 4: 11-13

My best friend who is waiting for her house to flood (I’m still hoping for a miracle) shared this verse today that she has hanging in her kitchen, saying it was a sweet reminder that God was near. Philipians 4:11-13

May God be with you during this storm, y’all. And if you’re reading from afar, thank you for your help and your prayers. So much love, friends.

Photo by Ailee at Snapshots & My Thoughts

  • Chelsea Davis

    You are a blessing! Thank you for compiling and sharing all of this!

  • Elise Welch

    Praying for Houston! Thank you for the update.