On Friday, Hurricane Harvey made landfall over Rockport, Texas, as a Category 4 storm. Since then, the storm has been downgraded to a tropical storm that has already dumped more than 30 inches of rain over parts of east Texas. On Twitter, the National Weather Service has called the devastation of Hurricane Harvey "unprecedented," with no signs of the catastrophic rainfall and flooding abating any time soon, according to meteorologists. More than 30,000 Texans have been affected by the storm according to FEMA, and they need our help now more than ever. Here are eight local organizations you can donate to after Hurricane Harvey.
While many are quick to text a donation to the American Red Cross, the organization has received criticism for how it appropriates donations to localized disasters. In the immediate aftermath of natural disasters, it's often local organizations that need the funds and resources to get boots on the ground faster more than larger national or international relief organizations like the Red Cross. Additionally, focusing your donations toward local relief efforts allows you to assist very specific populations affected by Hurricane Harvey that may be of most concern to you, including children and families, pets, or the homeless.
Texas Diaper Bank
Diaper need and the diaper gap are real and often overlooked by many looking to help in times of disaster. The Texas Diaper Bank serves more than 14,000 children across 10 counties in the state. They need both diapers and cash donations to help displaced families with young children; you can donate to the Texas Diaper Bank online here.
Austin Pets Alive
The Houston Coalition for the Homeless
The scenes of families losing their homes throughout east Texas in the wake of Hurricane Harvey are indeed hard to see — but it's not just the people with homes who were affected by the disaster. According to the Houston Coalition for the Homeless, there are as many as 3,400 homeless people on any given night in Houston, Harris, and Fort Bend Counties. Donate to the Houston Coalition for the Homeless online.
Rockport-Fulton Chamber of Commerce
The Rockport-Fulton area of east Texas was hit the hardest by Hurricane Harvey's initial impact as it made landfall Friday. The Rockport-Fulton Chamber of Commerce has an official GoFundMe set up to receive donations to assist with rebuilding its local communities; donate to its Hurricane Harvey GoFundMe online.
Houston Food Bank
Foundation Beyond Belief
Coastal Bend Disaster Recovery Group (CBDRG)
Driscoll Children's Hospital
According to ABC News, Driscoll Children's Hospital evacuated NICU babies to safety out of the path of Hurricane Harvey, but the hospital has been hard hit since. The hospital is accepting donations online to help with repair efforts.
As in the wake of any disaster, any organization to which you donate requires due diligence of making sure it's a reputable, trustworthy organization. Remember the whole Wyclef Jean Haiti charity fiasco? Charity Navigator, an independent watchdog group, provides ratings for charities to which donor dollars can have the most direct impact and is also a great place to do your homework before clicking the donate button.