Hurricane Harvey's unprecedented rainfall began pelting Texas this past weekend, and still continues to devastate Houston and its residents. Across the nation, Americans are wondering how they can be of assistance to those who are most vulnerable. And these six ways to help children after Hurricane Harvey are certainly a good place to start, because even though the storm has passed, people are still seeking refuge, help, and supplies.
The Category 4 hurricane first hit the coast of Texas, destroying towns with its winds and yielding massive flooding. According to FEMA Administrator Brock Long, "more than 30,000 people will need shelter as a result of the unrelenting rain." Through Thursday of this week, "the National Hurricane Center is calling for 10 to 20 inches of new rainfall" in the already-affected areas, so the destruction is far from over.
There are definitely some national organizations that you can donate to that are assisting children who've been displaced by Harvey, but there are also plenty of locally-based charities that could use your help as well. Addressing medical needs, hunger, and homelessness effectively are key right now, and any the following six strategies can provide assistance where it's deeply needed.
1. If You're Local, Donate Diapers
The San Antonio-based Texas Diaper Bank distributes supplies to over 1.1 million Texans in need, annually. A small donation of diaper funds can help displaced families and their babies stay a bit more comfortable despite the situation the storm has caused.
2. Share Needs From Save The Children
Promising to promote relief and recovery, Save the Children emphasizes that in addition to kid-specific supplies, child care and familial support is also key after an extreme event of this kind.
Support their efforts by donating or, if you don't have the funds to spare, spread their message on social media.
3. Retweet Families In Need Of Rescue On Social Media
Heartbreakingly, abandoned, and endangered families have had to turn to social media to attract help from authorities. Sharing such calls for help can quite literally save lives.
4. Donate Pediatric Medical Supplies
The group Little Lobbyists is "collecting pediatric medical supplies and are connecting with local families and organizations in and around the Houston area so that supplies can be distributed to the children who need them," according to its website.
They're seeking "tacheostomy and ventilator supplies, feeding tubes, nebulizers, air purifiers, specialty formula, and diapers," and of course are open to monetary donations, too.
5. Help Children's Homeless Shelters
With just a text, you can send donations to local Texas shelters who are sheltering homeless youth in the Houston area.
6. Give To Texas Food Banks
If you're a Texan yourself, volunteering at Texas Food Banks is an excellent way to donate time. Monetary donations are, of course, appreciated and just as needed as well.
Unfortunately, the situation in Texas isn't likely to be resolved any time soon; recovery and rebuilding will be needed long after the flood waters have receded. First thing's first, though: Keep children, their families, and residents across the impacted areas as safe and secure as possible in the coming days and months.