If you are reading this, you are fortunate to have access to wifi, power, and likely, clean drinking water. These are simple luxuries that many residents of Texas, Louisiana, the Caribbean, and Mexico no longer have access to, after the recent succession of natural disasters.
Hurricane Harvey came first, causing flooding and damage in Houston and Louisiana. The water damage has left significant areas of Houston uninhabitable.
Next came Hurricane Irma, pummeling through the Caribbean and the Florida Keys with fierce winds and heavy rain. Less than two weeks later, Hurricane Maria mercilessly followed in Irma’s path. Combined, the hurricanes were responsible for knocking out electricity, creating severe flash floods, and unraveling rooftops with 155 MPH winds.
While Maria was amidst her destruction in the Caribbean, a 7.1 magnitude earthquake shook Mexico City causing homes, schools, and office buildings to collapse, and creating aftershocks claiming over 300 lives.
It will take months, if not years, for the Caribbean to rebuild. Residents in Puerto Rico, Antigua, Barbuda, and other islands will live for months without power, and many others, without easy access to clean drinking water. Because the areas affected are all islands, all supplies and aid materials must be flown or shipped in – an expensive and timely process. In Mexico, rescue teams and volunteers are still relentlessly searching for survivors and preparing for further aftershocks.
Many organizations are requesting monetary donations as the most effective way to make an immediate difference. Food, clothing and supplies must be screened, sorted, allocated, then transported, which takes time, money and manpower. Many food banks and donation centers are also running out of storage space.
The world needs your support, now. The good news is, we did the research to help you. Below is a list of organizations requesting assistance, and other ways that you can help make a difference.
- If you are a Texas resident, the City of Houston Emergency Operations Center has posted a list of places accepting donations
- The Greater Houston Community Foundation is a local organization connecting donors with a network of other local nonprofits
- The Houston Food Bank and the Food Bank of Corpus Christi are asking for donations.
- The fundraising website, GlobalGiving, has a Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund aimed at providing victims immediate supplies such as food, fuel, clean water, and shelter.
- The American Red Cross is accepting donations. You can also text HARVEY to 90999 to donate $10.
- Save the Children provides supplies and services to children and families affected by Hurricane Harvey
- American Humane has deployed rescue trucks staffed with volunteers, veterinarians, and first-responders. They’re also distributing 100,000 pounds of pet food and assisting with shelter operations in Houston.
Hurricane Irma & Hurricane Maria:
- Fundraising websites such as Razoo, GoFundMe, Fundly, GlobalGiving and Crowdrise have numerous campaigns to help victims, stray pets and even wild animals affected by the storm across the entire region.
- The Sato Project is an organization that rescues abandoned and abused dogs from Puerto Rico, and is currently focusing efforts to help animals displaced by Hurricane Maria and move them to safety
- Local charities such as Unidos Por Puerto Rico and ConPRmetidos exclusively support hurricane victims with the goal of providing long-term relief
- UNICEF provides humanitarian aid and help for children in the region
- Donations to Catholic Charities USA supports direct assistance, rebuilding, and health care services to all victims, regardless of faith
- Donate blood at the American Red Cross
Mexico City Earthquake(s):
- The Mexican Red Cross has set up an Amazon Wishlist to purchase items that Amazon will deliver directly to the Red Cross in Mexico
- As many people are still searching for missing family members, officials are urging locals to open wifi networks
- Project Paz, a NYC non-profit funded by young Mexican-American professionals, has partnered with El Paso Community Foundation to accept tax-deductible donations to help Mexico earthquake relief.
- Fundraising websites such as GoFundMe have a number of relief and aid campaigns
- Social media is also helping people locate loved ones and reconnect families. Google has activated its people finder platform where people can share information about someone or ask for help locating a friend or family member. A list of rescued people is growing on a public Google Spreadsheet.