Houston is in a state of disaster after Hurricane Harvey hit and over stayed its welcome this past weekend. Hurricane warnings are nothing out of the ordinary this time of year, and we knew this one would be much worse than usual, but we never could have imagined the devastation our city is facing.
We’ve faced tornadoes (some actually in my neighborhood), more than 50 inches of rain in some areas, bayous overflowing and even a handful of deaths in the past five days.
It’s easy to feel helpless in these situations, and even guilty if you are one of the lucky ones sitting in a dry house with power, but we can all help! Here are a couple of ideas to help Houston during this sad time.
- Pray – If you are a believer you know that our God has been here in Houston throughout the entirety of this storm. There are so many stories of rescues and lives saved. Some of the stories are nothing short of miracles. We can help by praying for the people who are suffering, the people who are out there – still – risking their lives for others, and for the city as we rebuild.
- Give financially – I am a strong believer in giving financially to large organizations that can make the most impact with the dollars they receive. If you decide to give in this way, and you employer matches donations, don’t forget to take advantage of that benefit to make your kindness stretch even further! There are so many great organizations out there – but here is a short list of some great options for donating online:
- United Way Relief Fund
- American Red Cross – You can also text HARVEY to 90999 to make a $10 donation
- Houston SPCA
- Give your time – Volunteering your time is a great way to give back, and there is a lot of work to be done for our fellow Houstonians. I would caution to call before showing up at a shelter (I was sent away from two locations because they had too many people wanting to help!). Big picture, though, this is a great problem to have. If you are turned away, consider volunteering in a couple of days when things slow down. The work will still be there!
- Donate supplies – The evacuees left their homes with not much more than the clothes on their backs, so supplies for the shelters are a great way to help. People will also be needing supplies for cleaning up their homes. My suggestion is to ask what the shelters/organizations specifically need (and label your donations) so you are not creating any additional burden of sorting for the volunteers.
- Host a family – Do you have an extra bedroom at your house? Consider sharing your roof with a person or family that has been displaced for a short time before they figure out a more long-term option.
I know Houston will come out on the other side of this heartbreaking event. Please keep us in your heads and hearts as we pick up the pieces and put our beloved city back together.