With up to 30,000 people forced from their homes by the ravages of Hurricane Harvey, the people of Houston, southern Texas, Louisiana and the rest of the Gulf Coast will be dealing with the storm’s devastating aftermath for months and years. And Hurricane Irma may have a similar effect on Florida.
In this time of crisis, you can support efforts to aid the victims of Harvey with a donation to two of America’s most trusted relief organizations.
AMERICAN RED CROSS
Visit redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS or text HARVEY to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
Make a financial donation by phone at 1-800-SAL-ARMY, text STORM to 51555 or visit givesalvationarmyusa.org.
Text UWFLOOD to 41444 to donate to the United Way Flood Relief Fund.
PROTECT YOUR DONATION
Before you donate to a charity, make sure you know where your aid is going. The Center for International Disaster Information recommends checking with a charity monitoring organization like GiveWell, Charity Navigator, Charity Watch, or the Better Business Bureau before donating.
Make sure your donation is secure by going through an organization’s official website or sending a check in the mail. Never donate over the phone, email or via unknown social media pages, as these are easier for scammers to target.
GIVE CASH, NOT SUPPLIES
Most charities prefer monetary donations. These are more flexible and cause less of a strain on the charity, allowing them to help more, according to the CIDI.
If you want to travel to Texas, the American Red Cross has asked people to volunteer. The office announced on Friday that it would be training volunteers at their shelters through a “fast=track” course. The Salvation Army also announced it would be accepting volunteers to hand out supplies and food at shelters. Check for a local group in your area that is sending volunteers.
If you can’t get to Texas, you can still help by donating blood. You can take part in this week’s CBS Radio Blood Drive in Las Vegas at these locations.