You Can Help With Hurricane Relief, Even If You Don’t Have a Lot to Give

Officials deliver water to an holding area for residents waiting to be evacuated, Friday, Aug. 25, 2017, in Corpus Christi, Texas.
Officials deliver water to an holding area for residents waiting to be evacuated, Friday, Aug. 25, 2017, in Corpus Christi, Texas. Eric Gay/AP Photo

News outlets are calling Hurricane Harvey the worst storm to hit the state of Texas in recent history.

Though downgraded to a tropical storm on Saturday, the effects and aftermath of the storm have left hundreds of thousands without power, unable to access needed food or medical care, displaced from their homes and experiencing significant property destruction.

With so many in need of help, there are plenty of opportunities for those not directly impacted by Harvey to make a difference.

You don’t have to have a lot to give. Like the saying goes: Every little bit counts.

Make a Cash Donation

Most disaster relief organizations prefer donors to contribute to the cause financially so they can purchase exactly what is needed, but you don’t have to have hundreds to donate.

The Red Cross is accepting donations online as low as $10.

The Salvation Army is accepting donations online as low as $25.

Gothamist has a list of other organizations accepting monetary donations.

Organize a Fundraiser or Supplies Drive

Get your local community involved by organizing a bake sale, garage sale or other fundraiser and donating the proceeds to a disaster relief organization.

You can also get your neighbors, friends and family together to gather needed supplies. This article from Texas Monthly includes an intensive list of what’s needed — including food, diapers and toiletries — and links to sites collecting them.

This Google doc also provides information on what items are needed where, as well as what organizations are in need of monetary donations or volunteers. There’s also vital information about shelters that are available and other resources to help affected Texans.

Donate Blood

Blood collection agencies across the country are urging donors to give blood, especially those with type O-positive blood.

Increased blood donations will not only help those suffering from medical emergencies but also help make up for the lack of donations coming in, as previously scheduled blood drives in the affected areas had to be canceled.

See here for more information about where to donate.

Open Up Your Home

Those Texans whose homes haven’t been affected by the storm can help in a big way by opening up their doors to those in need.

Airbnb is asking hosts to offer available space to hurricane evacuees free of charge. The company is also waiving its service fees for those affected by the storm through September 1.

The SPCA of Texas is looking for people willing to open up their homes to foster pets in need during this crisis. See here for more information on the organization’s foster program.

What Not to Do

Though people may have the best intentions, disaster relief organizers often find themselves overwhelmed with an abundance of unneeded, unusable donations, including old clothes, expired food and expired medication.

Please check with the organization you’re donating to in order to make sure the items you plan to give will be of use.

Nicole Dow is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder.

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