Helping those hit by Hurricane Harvey
Video taken from a helicopter flying over Houston Friday shows homes and oil refineries still surrounded by water. Gov. Greg Abbott says it will take years for Harvey-swamped Texas to "dig out from this catastrophe." (Sept. 1)
With the devastation Hurricane Harvey has wreaked on Texas, many agencies are stepping forward to help those affected by the natural disaster. Here is a list of agencies providing help.
Places to donate
The Salvation Army: Donate online at helpsalvationarmy.org, or by phone at 1-800-SAL-ARMY. Checks can be sent to The Salvation Army, P.O. Box 1959, Atlanta, GA, 30301 and designate "Hurricane Harvey" on all checks. Users can also text STORM to 51555.
Catholic Charities of USA: Donations can be made online at catholiccharitiesusa.org or by texting CCUSADISASTER to 71777.
GlobalGiving: Donations can be made online at globalgiving.org/harvey or by texting HARVEY to 80100 to donate $10.
The Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund through the Greater Houston Community Foundation: Donations can be made at ghcf.org/hurricane-relief/
Houston United Way Relief Fund: Donations can be made at unitedwayhouston.org/flood/flood-donation
State of Texas Agriculture Relief Fund: Called the STAR Fund, money from this Texas Department of Agriculture program is used to assist farmers and ranchers in rebuilding fences, restoring operations, and paying for other agricultural disaster relief in the wake of events such as Hurricane Harvey. Visit this page to donate to the fund.
Texas Agricultural Education Disaster Relief Fund: Texas FFA has set up a Disaster Relief Page, where people can donate to the Texas Agricultural Education Disaster Relief Fund. This fund helps FFA chapters and agricultural education programs rebuild following natural disasters such as Hurricane Harvey.
JJ Watt fundraiser: Wisconsin native and Houston Texans' player J.J. Watt has also started a fundraiser that has now surpassed $5 million. Those interested can donate at youcaring.com/victimsofhurricaneharvey-915053.
Donate blood: Fay Spano, director of public relations for BloodCenter of Wisconsin, said they're seeking blood donations for hospitals in Texas. Spano said blood centers nationwide have received requests for 2,000 units of O blood types and platelets.
Watch out for scams
Some reminders with donating or potential charity scammers, according to the state Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection:
- Make sure to do research on each organization and how it uses its funding before donating. Charity Navigator or the Better Business Bureau is a good place to start.
- Check with local organizations you're interested in supporting to see if it prefers cash or in-kind donations
- Be wary of high-pressure pitches and avoid donating money or wiring money to organizations you don't know
- Watch out for messages or emails that could expose your computer to hackers
- Review the safety and security policies before donating through a crowdfunding website