How to Help Southeast Texas: The Aftermath of Hurricane Harvey

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We’re heartbroken by the devastation happening in southeast Texas and heartbroken for the people in our community who hail from Houston and the surrounding areas. 

We know you are too, and, like you, we want to help. 

So many different organizations throughout Austin are working to provide relief to those affected. Below, we've listed just a few of the ways you can support affected communities as they begin the recovery process.

1.) Donate to local food banks.

As the number of evacuees climbs, area food bank resources will be stressed. Consider donating money to the Houston Food Bank, the Food Bank of Corpus Christi, and/or the Galveston County Food Bank. If you have canned goods, ready to go, drop them by the Central Texas Food Bank or to any number of drives happening around the city.

*Below, you'll find correspondence directly from our contacts at the Central Texas Food Bank on what they need and could use from the community:

We’re currently encouraging both food and monetary donations that will go towards emergency boxes for those who were impacted by Harvey. Feel free to share these links or the following list with any fellow #bossbabesATX to let them know how they can continue to help out right now!

Food Items:

  • Creamy Peanut Butter
  • Squeeze Grape and Strawberry Jelly
  • Black Beans
  • Rice
  • Chunk Light Tuna in water
  • Beef stew – can pop top

Non-Food Items:

  • Mouth Wash
  • Large or Small Deodorant
  • Soap (either bar or liquid)
  • Shampoo
  • Paper towels
  • Paper plates
  • Plastic cutlery
  • Wet wipe/baby wipe pack
  • Ziploc bags

2.) Volunteer. 

Several grassroots groups are helping to mobilize and organize volunteers to help distribute donations and to assess the needs of evacuees sheltered in Austin. If you're able to contribute your time, contact the organizers (a conglomerate of local nonprofit representatives) at harveyaid2017@gmail.com or 209-787-0473, or use the volunteer signup form here.  

3.) Contribute to a donation drive.

Organizations throughout Austin are collecting badly needed items to take to Houston and the surrounding areas:

— SprATX is accepting donations at their shop of several necessities including socks, toiletries, baby items, pet supplies and ready-to-eat foods. Those that donate will also receive 15% off all SpATX goods, allowing them to support Harvey evacuees and local artists. You can check out the full donation list here.

— An Austin relief team will be making the drive from Austin to Houston to ferry badly needed donations and supplies for both survivors and rescue volunteers. Check out the full list here or contact the volunteers to join their trip.

— In addition to accepting donations at multiple locations throughout Austin, Counter Balance ATX is also seeking monetary donations and volunteers to help identify and research places acting as evacuee shelters. You can also purchase items from the organization’s Amazon wish list, which will be updated as evacuee needs evolve in the coming weeks. 

— Mayor Adler has asked Austin residents to compile small hygeine kits for the 6,000 displaced folks from Hurricane Harvey taking shelter in our city. Learn more about the project and how can contribute with Jane from @atasteofkoko.

— Our friends at Texas Humor and Sauceda Industries are harboring relief efforts at their warehouses. The following statement is from their team:
1) If you're wanting to send items to the affected cities, but aren't sure how to get it there or who to send it to please ship to our warehouse. We are helping with temporary supplies storage and will get them to exactly where they're needed via our various shipping partners that are active in the area. You can ship, drop off, or order via Amazon and have delivered below.

Sauceda Ind.
HARVEY RELIEF
506 E St Elmo RD
BLDG B
Austin, TX 78745

We're working directly with people on the ground in cities up and down the Gulf Coast to make sure cities that need certain things get enough and don't get overwhelmed with supplies they don't currently need.

2) Before you drive down to any particular town with supplies, do your best to reach out to any contacts in the areas and find out what the specific needs are. They're changing daily.

Water is the first thing that comes to mind for most folks, but things like tarps, cleaning supplies, and tanks of gas are also needed. Hot meals/brown bag lunches seem to be a welcomed donation regardless.

Either way, open your hearts and wallets. Just do your best to talk to folks directly and find out the specific needs before sending. Let's make sure everyone's getting whatever it'll take to get them back to 100% as soon as possible.

3) If you have any questions about where certain supplies are needed, let me know. Email me directly at

jayb@saucedaindustries.com
or call me at
832.640.9194

— We will also be accepting donations at the She Talks event happening tonight (update: this event has already occurred), thanks to Nyla Spooner of Thoughts Caught in My Fro. If you’re headed our way this evening to talk lifestyle design and work/life balance, and you feel so moved, please check out the list of needed items

4.) Attend events benefitting the Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.

For example, this Friday, you can blow some steam and help Hurricane Harvey relief efforts at Houston Strong at Mohawk Austin. All proceeds of the benefit, featuring Black Joe Lewis, The Octopus Project, Walker Lukens, and more, go to the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund established by Houston mayor Sylvester Turner in response to the natural disaster.  Diapers, formula, socks, undergarments, bottled water, and nonperishable food will also be accepted onsite at the show happening tomorrow evening. Tickets are $20. 

You can find more events in the Austin area on Facebook here.

5.) We also suggest perusing this community-curated and -compiled list of businesses donating to Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.

Make every dollar you spend this week count!

6.) And last, but certainly not least, if you choose to volunteer and get involved, please be respectful and mindful in the wake of this tragedy. 

On-the-ground responders and organizers are operating off of very little sleep, while sifting through large amounts of information, requests and inquiries—rest assured they are doing their best to coordinate efforts to all coastal cities affected by the Hurricane Harvey. When volunteering, support as you can and recognize when your efforts may be better spent elsewhere. When donating items, ensure you are donating what's needed, as sorting through items is a time-costly task for volunteers. Your help is appreciated—both big and small—so do what you can and show up for the people and the community you love.

- team #bossbabesATX

Jane Claire HerveyComment