Photo: David J. Phillip/AP
There is no doubt that Hurricane Harvey affects us in New Orleans in a unique way. We all understand on a level that few others can. We have our own special kind of PTSD that an event like this triggers. More urgently, more viscerally, we have a sense of gratitude to Houston and a special desire, because of this, to help.
Here, we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of where and how you can help. From all of us at Nola Family, thank you.
4 Tips on Disaster Relief Giving
1. Give cash, not clothes (or other goods). Giving away unwanted items makes donors feel good, and relief agencies can be under substantial pressure to accept their gifts-in-kind. But shipping and sorting these gifts can be a substantial expense and hassle, and such gifts can literally get in the way. If you have items you don’t want, consider selling them and donating the proceeds. Gifts-in-kind burden relief organizations with figuring out how to use what they have; cash allows them to quickly get what they need.
2. Support an organization that will help or get out of the way. Logistics can be a major challenge in disaster situations. For example, when we followed up on the Haiti earthquake relief effort a year after the incident, much of the disaster relief money had still not been spent, and that ~80%+ of the rubble had still not been cleared. A highly professional, experienced organization with a pre-existing presence in the affected country will likely help where it can, and stay out of the way where it can’t. But a less professional organization could easily detract from the relief effort.
3. Give proactively, not reactively. Don’t give to a charity just because it calls you on the phone, advertises on your Google search or otherwise connects with you first. That rewards the most aggressive organizations instead of the most competent and responsible ones. Instead, give not just money but thoughtfulness – take the time to find the best giving option you can.
4. Allow your funds to be used where most needed – even if that means they’re not used during this disaster. Disasters attract a great deal of media attention and money, yet in many cases the biggest challenge is logistics. The result can be that money isn’t the limiting factor in the immediate relief effort. That doesn’t mean money isn’t needed. The rebuilding effort can be very expensive. Beyond that, there are many disasters – and cases of everyday suffering – that aid organizations struggle to address, without being able to raise nearly as much funding for them as they can for a media-dominating disaster. It’s common for charities to use a disaster as an opportunity to raise funds for their other work.
tips: Written by Holden of givewell.org
How to Help Locally
- Junior League of New Orleans is preparing to mobilize their diaper bank and volunteers to assist as they learn more about the needs of those affected. To donate to JNLO’s Amazon diaper bank, click here.
- Second Harvest Food Bank is accepting donations of food, water and disaster supplies to help Hurricane Harvey victims. Donation locations include:
- Main warehouse and facility, 700 Edwards Avenue in the Elmwood Warehouse District area, Mon-Fri, 7:30 am to 4pm.
- Lafayette warehouse and facility, 215 E. Pinhook Rd, 7:30am to 4pm.
- The North Shore Food Bank, 840 N. Columbia St., Covington, Mon – Thurs. 9a – noon.
- Zeus’s Place, Take a Chance Animal Rescue, and Animal Rescue New Orleans are all accepting donations to help animals displaced during the Hurricane. Donated items in need include:
- wire crates and travel kennels of all sizes
- clay or clumping kitty litter and disposable litter pans
- Blankets, sheets, towels and pillows
- cleaning supplies such as dawn dish soap and bleach
- gallons of water (for animals).
- Dry Dog/Cat Food
- Toys and Treats
- Fluerty Girl hasn’t forgotten that Houston helped New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina. Now they are helping them. 100% of the proceeds from the HOU DAT tee will be donated to Feeding Texas, an organization that serves food banks throughout the affected areas. The shirt is not available in stores.
- The Louisiana Cajun Navy has dispatched from Louisiana and is on its way to Texas to help with recovery efforts.
- ZukaBaby will be collecting donations on behalf of This Mama Wines for families affected by Hurricane Harvey. Christine McNabb, founder of This Mama Wines, and her husband will be personally delivering donations to Houston, TX. The following items are needed:
- Unopened baby food (jars, pouches, etc.)
- Hygiene products for baby and mom
Please bring items to ZukaBaby (3248 Severn Ave. in Metairie). Cash donations will also be accepted on behalf of the Red Cross.
More Ways to Help Nationally
- The American Red Cross is helping the people affected by Hurricane Harvey in Texas and all across the Gulf coast. Shelters are open, truck loads of supplies are being distributed and volunteers in place. Click here to donate.
- To support relief efforts, Amazon and Whole Foods Market will match cash donations made via Amazon – up to $1 million total – to the American Red Cross Hurricane Harvey Relief.
- Go Fund Me has established several links to help the victims of Harvey.
- The Texas Diaper Bank which is based out of San Antonio, is putting together relief kit for families with very small children who need access to clean diapers in the midst of flooding and evacuations. Diapers take up a lot of space in a delivery truck, which means that other relief organizations have to decide between bringing diapers or food to affected areas. The Texas Diaper Bank fills in that need.
- The Driscoll Children’s Hospital in Corpus Christi weathered the storm well, never losing power. It’s accepting financial donations now, and if you live in the area and want to help, you can also donate blood. They serve a large area, and people from many affected parts of the coast are likely to need their services.
- Here’s a list of food banks in both affected areas and in places where those affected are likely to spend some time in the immediate aftermath of the storm (via the Houston Press):
- Houston Food Bank, 832.369.9390, houstonfoodbank.org
- Galveston Food Bank, 409.945.4232, galvestoncountyfoodbank.org
- Food Bank of the Golden Crescent (Victoria), 361.578.0591, victoriafoodbank.org
- Corpus Christi Food Bank, 361.887.6291, foodbankcc.com
- Southeast Texas Food Bank (Beaumont), 409.839.8777, setxfoodbank.org
- San Antonio Food Bank, 210.337.3663, safoodbank.org
More Articles on Helping Hurricane Harvey Victims
- Hurricane Harvey: How to Help provides additional tips on how to help victims the right way.
- Charity Navigation has a listing of charities who are providing assistance in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.