Hey, bookwormies! So I usually post once a day on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and rest assured this is a book and writing blog (mostly), but I wanted to go ahead and address something major happening in my state and nation over the past few days.
As some of y’all know, I’m currently located in Texas, and as most of y’all probably know, just a few days ago Texas was ravaged by the natural disaster Hurricane Harvey.
My little family and I (myself, my husband, and our floofy doggo, Paisley) were lucky enough to weather the storm perfectly well (no pun intended, ugh). Our city did not get the full force of the Category 4 storm like many other cities, and our slightly higher elevation means that we are not experiencing much flooding. All of us are safe and dry and have no sustained no damage to our property…but not everyone is so lucky.
Sadly, this storm devastated much of the southern portion of the state, including cities like Houston, Corpus Christi, Port Aransas, and Rockport. These are cities with very high populations, meaning so, so, so many people were impacted. Some people lost everything—their homes, their vehicles, all their belongings, even their places of work. Some people do not have food, drinkable water, or basic necessities that we take for granted on a day to day basis, such as personal hygiene items and diapers and supplies for their babies.
Of course, this is not to be seen as me guilting or trying to make anyone feel obligated to contribute, but if your hearts go out to the people in Texas who are struggling so much right now and you are looking for a way to help, I wanted to provide these options for you. Any donation or any little bit of assistance can mean so much to people in such a terrible time and dire circumstances. Every day we drink our hot coffee and wear our dry socks and eat our dinner and wash ourselves with our soap and we don’t even think about it—until we don’t have access to those things anymore, like so many of my fellow Texans right now. So if you can spare anything for the residents of Texas who are suffering, I know they would appreciate it.
Keep reading for some links and options to donate or to help out with the Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.
Most of the time, monetary donations are not only the easiest way to contribute to an important cause, they’re also the most helpful. Monetary donations can be used responsibly by organizations and delegated to exactly what they need to assist the most people in the best way at that time. Plus, you can donate as little or as much as you’d like to, so here are some options:
The American Red Cross is one of the biggest relief aid organizations assisting victims of Hurricane Harvey at this time, working around the clock to help and provide all kinds of necessities. You can donate to them by clicking here and visiting their website to donate any amount, or by texting HARVEY to 90999 to donate $10.
This is another organization you can donate to via their website or via text. For this one, text STORM to 51555. You can also call them to donate at 1.800.725.2769.
Go Fund Me has created a page to round up all the Hurricane Harvey related campaigns. Please remember to always be careful on Go Fund Me and beware of scammers, but it is a great resource to easily and directly help out families who are struggling. Click here to visit the page with all the Harvey related campaigns.
Food banks are crucial to providing meals for thousands of people during disasters like this, and Houston and Corpus Christi, two of the cities impacted hardest by the hurricane, are seeking donations. Click here to donate to the Houston Food Bank or here to donate to the Corpus Christi food bank via PayPal, debit, or credit.
It’s important not to donate items unless they are explicitly asked for by the organizations, because receiving too many items from too many sources can take up precious time as volunteers try to sort through it all, so if you’re donating items, do so only for organizations asking for items, like the ones specified here, and only the items they are requesting. Although we all know you mean so, so, so well, sometimes it’s easier for organizations to take the monetary donations they receive and use that money for the best possible (and most!) resources they can get at that time.
Some examples of places looking for items:
Although the Houston Food Bank is looking for monetary donations as well, you can also donate food items, such as canned food (vegetables, fruit, tuna, etc.), non-salt seasonings, whole grain pasta, quinoa, and brown rice. Click here for a list of their most needed foods if you want to find out more.
Babies are so helpless in a tragedy like this, and they need help, too! Texas Diaper Bank is asking for diapers and wipes for all age and size babies to help keep all the infants affected by the storm clean and dry and happy. You can click the link above to find out more, and you can mail your donations to:
5415 Bandera Road, Suite 504, San Antonio, TX 78238
Or you can drop them off in person if you’re located in the area!
The poor, sweet, little animals! Don’t forget that people are not the only ones affected by natural disasters–animals are, too, and so many pets have been displaced by this tragedy, as well as strays who have nowhere safe to go, and are being taken in and cared for by humane societies and animal shelters whose resources are being stretched thin by all the sweet, innocent critters they have to care for. Here are some ways to help the puppies and kitties and pets affected by Hurricane Harvey.
San Antonio Humane Society has started a cause called Harvey’s Heroes, dedicated specifically to taking in the animals affected by the storm. Click here to donate to this emergency fund or learn more.
One of the cities hit hardest by the storm really needs help for their animals right now! Click here to go to the Houston Humane Society website and read about what they are going through, and then click “donate now” to contribute.
The Houston SPCA doesn’t just help with sheltering animals, they are also an important resource in disaster response for animals. Click here to learn more and help out.
And of course, at a time like this when so many are injured and sick, blood donations are crucial, and organizations have put out calls for necessary blood donations. O-positive blood types, it’s your time to shine–that’s the blood type they need the most! But any blood type can donate by checking out the resources below.
Visit americasblood.org and click “Donate Blood” to find a donation center near you and coordinate.
Visit the American Red Cross site at redcrossblood.org and click “Donating Blood” or call 1.800.733.2767. You can set up an appointment both ways.
Don’t get scammed! Make sure you are donating to reputable organizations who will use your money responsibly, and try not to fall into the grips of the small percentage of people who are evil enough to take advantage of a situation like this for their own personal gain. The FTC’s website has guidelines about reputable charities, and they also advise you be wary of mysterious organizations that suddenly pop up after disasters, and advise you report shady GoFundMe accounts. It’s sad that there’s people out there who would take advantage in times like this, but…sadly…there are.
Don’t travel into the affected areas! If you are looking to help with rescue and recovery, be sure you have appropriate recovery vehicles and materials and you are working with and reporting to reputable law enforcement individuals who can guide you in the direction of people who need help–otherwise, it is not safe to be in the affected areas! Please do not travel to disaster-torn areas just to see it (not that I think any of you would) and of course, if you had any leisure related travel planned to South Texas, it will, sadly, need to be postponed. Safety is the number one most important thing!
Thank you so, so much for reading this, and thank you to anyone who is able to help out! Even if you are not able to donate anything at this time, please keep Texas and Texans in your hearts right now. No matter where you are from, what you believe in, or what your political affiliations are, we are all people, and it’s good to see people come together when it’s needed most.