HOUSTON - The Texas coast has been devastated by the effects of Hurricane Harvey, which has created unprecedented flooding and forced thousands to flee for their lives.
If you're looking to make a difference, here's how you can help the victims impacted by the Texas flooding.
FEMA says cash donations offer voluntary agencies the most flexibility to address urgently developing needs. FEMA urges people to not donate unsolicited goods such as used clothing, miscellaneous household items, medicine, or perishable foodstuffs at this time. You can learn more about safely donating to charities during disasters from the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster.
- The American Red Cross -
The organization is helping people by providing shelter and sending truck loads of supplies. The American Red Cross is urging people to call 1-800-RED CROSS or to text HARVEY to 90999 to make a donation. You can also click here to donate.
"Hearts for Harvey" also benefits the American Red Cross and has been formed to serve as a conduit for people in the Greater Washington Area to send assistance to the Houston area victims of Hurricane Harvey. Click here to donate.
- Salvation Army -
The Salvation Army's Emergency Disaster Services is working to help provide food and clothing to victims seeking shelter. Donors can call 1-800-SAL-ARMY or click here.
- Global Giving -
The global crowdfunding community is attempting to raise $2 million to "provide relief to survivors in the form of emergency supplies like food, water, and medicine in addition to longer-term recovery assistance to help residents recover and rebuild." Global Giving says all donations made to the fund will be exclusively used to support local relief and recovery efforts. Click here to learn how to donate.
- Catholic Charities USA -
The organization is urging people to donate to their disaster relief efforts by texting "CCUSADISASTER" to 71777.
- Texas Diaper Bank -
The organization supports the basic needs of vulnerable babies, children with disabilities and seniors. The Texas Diaper Bank is asking for cash and diaper donations to help provide for the victims in Texas. Click here to learn how to donate.
- Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund -
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner established the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund after receiving an overwhelming number of inquiries of people reaching out to offer help. The funds will be administered by the Greater Houston Community Foundation and accepts tax-deductible flood-relief donations. To donate or to learn more, click here.
- Houston Texans star J.J. Watt -
FEMA is urging people wanting to volunteer to not self-deploy as it could negatively impact first responders and their missions. Potential volunteers are asked to register with a voluntary or charitable organization. FEMA also notes that there will be volunteer needs for many months after the disaster so those wishing to help should sign up now.
If you're looking to volunteer your time to help those impacted by Hurricane Harvey, the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army are in need of volunteers to help at shelters. You can learn how to volunteer for the American Red Cross here and for the Salvation Army here.
- SPCA -
The SPCA is accepting donations and supplies to help pets impacted by Hurricane Harvey. The supplies most needed are cat litter, litter boxes, towels, blankets, large wire crates, toys, treats, pet beds, newspaper and gas gift cards. To learn how to donate, click here.
- Austin Pets Alive -
The organization has been helping to transport pets out of local shelters and to safer areas. To learn how to donate supplies or money, click here.
WATCH: Bob Ottenhoff with the Center for Disaster Philanthropy explains how you should donate and volunteer during a natural disaster (app viewers, click here)