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How You Can Help Victims of Hurricane Harvey

Aug 29, 2017

Pictured: Jena Meuth, Marketing Coordinator, dropping lunch off from The Nitsche Group to shelter volunteers to be served to evacuees at the Red Cross Shelter in Giddings, TX.

Amid the widespread havoc and devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey, communities, celebrities, and corporations are pitching in to help relief efforts.

Yesterday, we provided lunch to local families displaced by the storm and taking refuge at the Lee County Youth Center.

Whether you donate your time, money or both, there are many ways you can help. Check out our list of ways to give below as well as scams to steer clear of.

Donate Food & Items

 Houston Food Bank:  Although the facility is currently inaccessible due to flood waters, monetary donations can be made online.  The facility will reopen as soon as possible to provide disaster relief to the community.

Did you know diapers are rarely included in relief kits? Help Texas Diaper Bank and Austin Diaper Bank put together relief kits for delivery to affected areas by donating online or purchasing needed items here. Be sure to apply your online donation to “Disaster Relief.”

Some victims have lost everything to the flood waters. Contact your local officials and charitable organizations to see if there are any local families or evacuees in need. Be sure to ask about donation sites in your area where you can drop off items.

Donate Money

Many relief organizations can do far more good with your monetary donation than with physical items. Consider making a monetary donation to a vetted relief charity.

 City of Houston Relief Fund:  Donate online or text “HARVEY2017” to 91999.

 American Red Cross:  Donate online, text “HARVEY” to 90999 to make a $10 donation, or call 1-800-RED-CROSS to donate by phone. You can also purchase needed items from the Red Cross Wish List.

 Amazon and Whole Foods Market are matching donations made via Amazon – up to $1 million total – to the American Red Cross Hurricane Harvey Relief efforts. Consider making purchases through Amazon Smile to support local nonprofits focused on relief efforts.

Donate Time

The time of volunteers is priceless to charity organizations, especially in the most severe times of need following disasters.

Samaritan’s Purse:  Donate online or sign up to volunteer in Rockport or Victoria.

Contact your local shelter to see how you can help. Local officials should have an updated map of area shelters and donation sites that need help. This interactive map also shows some shelters, pet shelters, and food distribution centers in your area.

Avoid Scams

Disasters have a way of bringing people together, unfortunately, they can also bring out the worst in us.

If you’re looking for ways to give, please be wary of potential charity scams popping up in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. Unfortunately, there are shameless scam artists out there trying to capitalize on public concern and generosity.

– Beware of charities or relief websites that seem to have sprung up overnight. Even if they’re legitimate, they probably don’t have the infrastructure to get the donations to the affected area or people.
– Don’t assume that a charity message posted on social media is legitimate. Research the organization yourself.
– For donations via text message, confirm the number with the source before you donate. The charge will show up on your mobile phone bill.
– Never wire money to someone claiming to be a charity. Scammers often request donations to be wired because once you send it, you can’t get it back.
– For security and tax purposes, it’s best to donate by check or credit card NOT cash.
– Before donating, research the organization by visiting charity evaluation sites like Charity Navigator, Charity Watch, GuideStar, or the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance.

 

Advisory

As an insurance provider, we know the impact adverse conditions and weather events can have. Being prepared and informed helps you protect what matters most.

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