Here's How You Can Help Victims Of Hurricane Harvey

HOUSTON, TX - AUGUST 28:  People walk down a flooded street as they evacuate their homes after the area was inundated with flooding from Hurricane Harvey on August 28, 2017 in Houston, Texas. Harvey, which made landfall north of Corpus Christi late Friday evening, is expected to dump upwards to 40 inches of rain in Texas over the next couple of days.  (Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Here's How You Can Help Victims Of Hurricane Harvey

It's about more than monetary donations.

Published August 29, 2017

In the wake of the ongoing destruction in Texas at the hands of Hurricane Harvey, it's up to those of us who are unaffected and able to contribute to band together and support those in need. Celebrities have mobilized in a more effective fashion than usual thanks to Kevin Hart's positive "challenge" to his fellow stars, requesting that they donate $25,000 to rescue and recovery efforts.

Even the KarJenners, who have often recently found themselves on the wrong side of issues, have done their part with a $500,000 donation. For once, it's nice to see celebs putting their money where their mouths are instead of posting a "prayers up" Instagram.

But you don't have to be an A-list star to make an impact. As evidenced by Bernie Sanders's campaign, small donations on the grassroots level can influence and lead to actual change. The aftermath of a natural disaster undoubtedly has an even greater impact on lower-income individuals and families, as they face greater challenges with regard to evacuation and recovery options.

We've compiled a list of accessible ways in which you can contribute. As our favorite humanitarian, Rihanna, once said, "I know that each and every one of you has the opportunity to help someone else. All you need to do is help one person, expecting nothing in return. To me, that is a humanitarian... My grandmother always used to say if you've got a dollar, there's plenty to share." 

  1. If you live in the Houston area and have a high-water safe boat, you are being asked to immediately help with rescue efforts. 
  2. In you're not in the area, you can donate money to the American Red Cross, via its website or by text to 90999. Apple is also letting users donate to the American Red Cross directly on iTunes and in the App Store. 
  3. In addition to money, Red Cross is also seeking blood donations. Carter BloodCare and South Texas Blood and Tissue Center are local organizations in Texas also accepting blood donations. 
  4. All Hands, a nonprofit, has staff on the ground in Texas, and is in contact with emergency management officials. You can give here.
  5. Crowdfunding site Global Giving is attempting to raise $2 million for funds that will "exclusively support local relief and recovery efforts from this storm." You can contribute here.
  6. Airbnb has launched a site connecting people looking for a place to stay with those who can offer shelter. Anyone who checks in before Sept. 1 will have their lodging fees waived. 
  7. United Way of Greater Houston has set up a relief fund that you can access here; the organization's first priority is shelter and basic needs, but it will also be focusing on long-term recovery efforts.
  8. SPCA of TexasAustin Pets Alive and the San Antonio Humane Society are assisting with sheltering and helping pets affected by Hurricane Harvey. 
  9. Additional donations for disaster relief can be made to the Texas Diaper BankDriscoll Children's Hospital in Corpus Christi and the Salvation Army

For more ways to contribute, please visit the Chronicle's comprehensive list here.

To ensure your donations will benefit a legitimate cause, feel free to cross-reference charitable options with organizations that verify such causes, such as GiveWellCharity NavigatorCharity Watch or the Better Business Bureau.

Written by BET Staff

(Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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