We're Halfway Through Harvey, But Relief Efforts Are Just Getting Started. Here's How To Help.

These seven organizations will help those affected by Hurricane Harvey recover and rebuild going forward.

It's thought that hurricane-turned-tropical-storm Harvey has passed, but it's expected to rain in southeast Texas until Thursday, and even though the storm is more or less behind us, the damage it caused will take months, if not years to repair.

Social media is inundated with the various ways in which you can help people affected by Harvey, and even though food, shelter, and clothing all address some of the most pertinent immediate needs, it's important to remember the people of Texas and neighboring Louisiana (which was also impacted by the storm) will need assistance for years to come.

1. GoFundMe

As administrator Brock Long said during the August 27 episode of CNN's State of the Union, "FEMA is going to be there for years. This disaster is going to be a landmark event."

Per The Texas Tribune, crowdfunding platform GoFundMe has curated a special list of dozens of Harvey relief efforts. Said efforts include fundraisers for individual cities, families, homes, and animals, which will need all of the help they can get as Texas begins to think about rebuilding and the sustained, dedicated effort that will require going forward.

2. The State Bar of Texas

The Texas Tribune also reports The State Bar of Texas has established a legal hotline to help people — specifically low-income Texans — with issues such as replacing lost documents and answering insurance questions. 

Though this may not seem critical right now, considering many people were forced to leave their homes with just the clothes on their backs, replacing things like birth certificates, social security cards, and passports will be crucial in the weeks and months to come, especially because some of these documents may be required to claim assistance going forward. Filing insurance claims for damaged or destroyed homes, of which there are thousands, is also key.

The State Bar of Texas also started a disaster relief volunteer form, which attorneys licensed in Texas can fill out here

3. American Red Cross

The American Red Cross is known for its thorough disaster responses, and indeed the organization had already mounted a massive relief plan before the hurricane even hit. That plan included opening shelters, mobilizing hundreds of trained disaster relief workers, and bringing in tens of thousands of ready-to-eat meals for those in need. 

However, The American Red Cross operates on a more long-term basis as well, specifically by sending health and mental health volunteers travel to disaster sites to help people cope. Physical health is obviously important, but when a disaster like this strikes and people are in crisis, it is necessary to keep mental health in check as well.

Help people affected by Hurricane Harvey by visiting redcross.org, calling 1- 800-RED CROSS or texting the word HARVEY to 90999 to make a $10 donation. You can also contact the Mental Health Line by texting the word TALKWITHUS to 66746.

4. Portlight

Portlight is a local organization that aims to offer relief to the disabled and older adults, according to HuffPost. Each of these vulnerable populations are facing an especially difficult battle ahead as it will likely take them even longer than others to be able to return to their homes. 

With the help of donations, Portlight can and will replace lost durable medical equipment and ramping, and assist residents in purchasing and installing accessibility equipment that may need to be replaced as the recovery efforts get underway.

5. The Rockport-Fulton Chamber of Commerce

The Rockport and Fulton communities were hit especially hard because that's where Hurricane Harvey first made landfall, so The Rockport-Fulton Chamber of Commerce is raising funds to assist in recovery efforts in those two locales. Donations will be used to aid local businesses and organizations as they rebuild.

6. Greater Houston Community Foundation

This broad-based relief fund was established by Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. Since the foundation is based in an area that was greatly affected by the storm, you can rest assured knowing donations will be used to help with immediate needs as well as more long-term efforts such as rebuilding damaged roadways, homes, schools, businesses, etc.

7. The Center for Disaster Philanthropy

The worldwide organization has launched a relief fund specifically dedicated to those impacted by Hurricane Harvey. Though the CDP is obviously aware swift relief is needed, the CDP Hurricane Harvey Recovery Fund "will drive support for medium- and long-term recovery needs that will arise in the weeks and months to come." 

"We expect the long-term needs to be rebuilding homes, businesses, infrastructure, meeting the needs of young children, supporting mental health needs, and boosting damaged agricultural sectors," the organization's website explains.

Cover image via U.S. Customs and Border Protection, photo by Glenn Fawcett.

The New York Times reports thousands have been displaced by the "unprecedented" storm, which has also caused billions of dollars in damages to homes, roadways, and other key infrastructure components. And that's to say nothing of the difficult physical and emotional recovery ahead  

With that in mind, we've compiled a list of 7 organizations working to provide long-term relief to the victims of Hurricane Harvey and the subsequent storm. Scroll down to learn more and consider doing whatever you can to help.


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