I've watched the news reports and I can't imagine the amount of rain that people in Texas and Louisiana have received from Hurricane Harvey. Back in 2011, my wife and I planned to take our kids to visit her cousins on the west coast. It was going to be our first big trip with the kids and we had saved up so that we could go. Several days before our trip Hurricane Irene reared its way toward us, and by the day we were supposed to leave, all flights were cancelled. I live more than 80 miles inland from the Atlantic ocean, but we were hit hard from the storm. We lost power for nearly three days, our basement was flooded and we had to rip up all the rugs, drag up the water logged rugs and eventually needed to rip out parts of the walls to treat the studs for mold, get french drains and go through rebuilding our basement. We only had a few inches of water in our basement.
Parts of Texas received more than 50 inches of rain. I remember how hard it was to not have power with small kids and how we lost all our food in our freezer. Just going through Hurricane Irene and not having power for three days was hard. When I see the news now, I have lots of empathy for those affected by the hurricane. The White House staff came out last night saying that they're estimating that 100,000 homes have been affected by the storm. I cannot imagine seeing a river outside my house with my car covered in water. Or to know that my home has been destroyed and I might never be able to go back and live there.
More than 35 people have died from this storm and what I fear is that lack of food, water, shelter and disease (from the standing water) will greatly affect thousands of people. When we were going through Hurricane Irene, I switched into survival mode. You prepare for the worst and then come together with your neighborhood to survive. It didn't matter to me who you were--we all survived and were affected by a powerful storm and then came together to help each other out.
The experience I went through with Hurricane Irene is just a small taste of what those affected by Hurricane Harvey have gone through. But what I fear is that now that the storm is over, it will take years to rebuild. People need shelter, food, water, medicine, clothing and the basic necessities of life--now. It doesn't matter to me if the people affected are from a blue state, red state are white, brown, or whatever their religion. What concerns me is that they are people in need.
My family and I made a donation yesterday to help those affected from the hurricane and I wanted to share some information that I received from Daniel Cohen, the found of Indivisible Houston, that I found helpful. I do hope that you help make a donation to support the people who lives have been upended by the hurricane. What I like about this list is that the charities listed cover the normal ones you would expect to see but also some different ones that help specific groups of people.
I pray that the people affected by the hurricane will find solace in knowing that they're not alone and that the rest of us can lend some support. Here is the list from Daniel Cohen's blog post:
- Boys and Girls Club of Greater Houston – http://bit.ly/2gkOKfZ
- Houston Emergency Aid Coalition – http://bit.ly/2vHfGwM
- United Way of Greater Houston – http://bit.ly/2wptNYB
- Hurricane Harvey Community Relief Fund – http://bit.ly/2erHkuk
Here is also a good article on how to donate money and other aid to communities of color – http://bit.ly/2x7kb7t
- Houston Food Bank – http://bit.ly/2iKkCPu
- Galveston County Food Bank – http://bit.ly/2wjNhQ4
- Corpus Christi Food Bank – http://bit.ly/2eGIcZ1
- Feeding Texas – http://bit.ly/2wkcgmn
- Texas Diaper Bank – http://bit.ly/2vLrRIk
Help for Undocumented People
- Houston Undocumented Communities Flood Relief Fund – http://bit.ly/2eGNLGF
- United We Dream and Pantsuit Republic Fund for Undocumented Families – http://bit.ly/2el4mzd
- More resources: PSR Emergency Support – http://bit.ly/2vL6Ugz
People with Disabilities
- Portlight – http://bit.ly/2ekVSZ9
Transgender, Intersex, and Genderqueer Individuals
- The Trans Disaster Relief Fund – http://bit.ly/2wpmb8J
- Coastal Bend Disaster Recovery Group – http://bit.ly/2xzGMaE
Accepting both cash donations and volunteer help (as needed).