Update on Hurricane Assistance

Now that the flood waters are beginning to recede, ways in which you and your organization can help out are coming to light. Is your organization already collecting donations or money? Here are some important tips for how and where to send them so that these donations get to those who need them.

Tips on Donations

The overwhelming generosity of the public is greatly appreciated, however the the influx of donated items exceeds the needs of the impacted communities at this time. Therefore, the States of Texas and Florida are asking that you please DO NOT donate unsolicited goods such as used clothing, miscellaneous household items, medicine, or perishable foodstuffs.  As relief organizations continue to receive unsolicited donations, supporting agencies must redirect staff and volunteers away from providing direct services to survivors in order to sort, package, transport, warehouse, and distribute items that may not meet the needs of disaster survivors.

Hurricane Harvey

If you have already collected items for Hurricane Harvey, please consider donating them to a nonprofit organization in your community that accepts in-kind donations, or register in-kind donations here for Hurrican Harvey.  If you are a company seeking to donate goods to the Hurricane Harvey efforts, please fill out the form for Corporate Donations located here. This information will be sent to the appropriate parties as needs arise.   

The most effective way for individuals and private sector partners to support disaster survivors in their recovery is to donate money and time to trusted, reputable, voluntary or charitable organizations. Cash donations offer voluntary agencies and faith-based organizations the most flexibility to address urgently developing needs, as well as needs that arise over the coming months and years. With cash in hand, these organizations can obtain needed resources locally which will help local economies recover.    

Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced that the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation have collaborated with the OneStar Foundation to form the Rebuild Texas Fund.  Michael & Susan Dell are leading the charge to raise $100 million for the fund.  Those wishing to donate to the fund can do so by visiting www.rebuildtx.org or by texting ‘rebuildtx’ to 91999.

You may also make a financial donation to a Texas VOAD Member or a National VOAD Member to help voluntary or charitable organizations continue to provide services to those affected by Hurricane Harvey.

The State of Texas continues to experience flooding, and the situation may not be conducive to volunteers entering the impacted areas. Spontaneous or unaffiliated volunteers who self-deploy may create an additional burden on impacted communities where resources for food and shelter are scarce. The State of Texas is asking potential volunteers to register with a voluntary or charitable organization of their choice, many of which are already in Texas supporting survivors on the ground.

To register as an affiliated volunteer with a voluntary or charitable organization, please visit the National VOAD or Texas VOAD for a list of partners active in disaster. Alternatively, you may register your interest to volunteer here, and partner organizations may reach out to you. Most importantly, please be patient. Hurricane Harvey recovery will require volunteer engagement for many months and years to come, so sign up now. Continue monitoring traditional and social media channels, including www.volunteertx.org for the latest information.

Hurricane Irma

People can donate or text “IRMA” to 90999 to give $10 to the American Red Cross. The nonprofit Americares, a health-focused relief and development organization, is accepting donations here. Apple, which donated $5 million to support hurricane relief efforts for both Harvey and Irma, is making it easy for customers to give to the relief efforts of Hand in Hand by donating through iTunes and the App Store. Celebrities like Kenny Chesney and Tim Duncan have also created foundations to help out. Other donations can be made through Save the Children, Global Giving, American University in Antigua,

The American Red Cross opened shelters, sent supplies and is placing volunteers around Florida. Click here to volunteer.  Volunteer Florida is “mobilizing volunteers to staff Florida shelters and other disaster relief organizations. Your can text “DISASTER” to 20222. Register here and find out more here.  If you’d like to volunteer in Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands — the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) is also looking for people. Their registration form can be found here.

Finally, there is always one way that you can help out during times like these that is always helpful. Please give blood at your nearest blood donation site.

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