Helping after Hurricane Harvey

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Texas National Guard Soldiers respond to the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Tim Pruitt) Photo used under Creative Commons license.

Just a couple of quick notes to anyone who wants to know how to help after Hurricane Harvey – because there are so many ways to do it right, and just as many ways to do it wrong. Here are five ways to do it right:

  1. Give cash. Yeah, not as much fun as collecting clothes or medicine or whatever, but the most effective way to help is with cash. Guess what – the folks in Texas can buy bread or milk or diapers cheaper in Dallas than we can ship them from Minnesota.
  2. Some Houston-area places to give are the official Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund, established by the Greater Houston Community Foundation and Mayor Sylvester Turner.  the Portlight Inclusive Disaster Strategies, a nonprofit that provides disaster relief to people with disabilities.  the Houston Food Bank, and the Texas Diaper Bank.
  3. Take your time. This disaster is not going away soon. Clean-up and rebuilding will take months, maybe years. So give now and then mark your calendar and remember Texas at Thanksgiving and Christmas and whenever you can.
  4. Spread the love. Houston is the big city. Smaller cities and rural areas in Texas AND in Louisiana have also been hit hard.
  5. Connect. If you want to send material aid (blankets, quilts, new socks and t-shirts for for kids, etc.), find a personal connection with a local church, synagogue, mosque, school, or charity. Ask whether they need what you want to send, or if they know someone who does. Hint: schools always seem to know kids who can use basic, new clothing. That’s true here, as well as in hurricane-hit areas.

If you’ve read this at all, thank you. You are one of the good ones, one of the helpers that Mr. Rogers told us to look for in times of disaster. I mean it – thank you.

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