I have never seen devastation like what’s happening here in Houston. It seems like people from every area of our life in Houston have been affected and it’s heartbreaking. I know food can bring comfort, bring healing, and bring people together but right now we need something, albeit small that might make an impact today.
First, we are fine. We are safe. We are more fortunate than most. All of the rest of the pictures in this post are from my neighborhood at it’s worst. For a minute, we feared the water might overcome our front gate and seep into our home but at that moment the rain stopped and my neighborhood drained in a matter of hours; just in time for round two. We lasted that one as well and have been fortunate the water hasn’t rose again.
So many people of Houston haven’t been that lucky. They too, were confident they would withstand the storm and subsequently resume their lives later this week. The rain was relentless and it feels like half the city has been displaced. People are being lifted out of danger by helicopters, taking refuge in empty schools lacking water and food. Countless others are STILL in harms way. I have no words for the guilt I feel as I sit in my home with the comforts of A/C and electricity, a pantry of food, and watch people carry their children through waist deep water, holding their precious belongings above their heads, and waiting on highways to be carted to destinations unknown.
But here is the good news, Houston is resilient. For one, they have done this before, this isn’t the first flood this city has persevered through. The people here know how to rally; the same fight and spirit they bring to Texans games, is the energy and courage pushing them to check on their neighbors, hop in their boats to orchestrate rescue missions, and give everything they can to provide a semblance of hope for their weary fellow man.
That’s why I’m pleading with my followers today. Take the time to consider what you can do to help. It’s true, monetary donations are paramount to get much needed resources in the hands of the volunteers FAST but the needs of Houston are only beginning. The restoration and rebuilding of the city will take time. People have lost homes, cars, clothes, school supplies, food, furniture, and all the things we take for granted daily.
Check this out if you are looking to volunteer:
http://www.volunteerhou.org/user/login/?return=%2Fdrm%2Fneeds%2F . It’s a virtual volunteer center
Every shelter in the city is in dire need social workers and nurses. There are a number of people with mental health issues that need help and they are fearful their wellbeing is getting overlooked. Most don’t have caretakers with them.
If you want to donate financially, here are a few links I have rounded up:
Salvation Army or 1-800-SAL-ARMY
-> Texas Diaper Bank OR mail diapers to 5414 Bandera Road, Suite 504 San Antonio, TX 78238
HEB + Central Markets across Texas will be accepting donations in store!
-> Denotes recommendation by friends and followers
** 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. I did my best to vet these charities but be sure to double check before you send money; unfortunately everyone doesn’t act ethically.
My heart aches for the parents lacking the basic necessities to take care of their children.
- clean clothes
- pack n’ plays as temporary sleep solutions
One of my main goals is to help these families.
As mentioned above, you can mail diapers to: Texas Diaper Bank 5414 Bandera Road, Suite 504 San Antonio, TX 78238
After speaking to a few friends and seeing the pleas of some local shelters, these are the 15 items most desperately needed:
- sweatshirts (especially L/XL/XXL clothing for men and women)
- socks/ underwear
- packaged food
- toothbrushes/ toothpaste
- ready to eat food
- first aid supplies
- medical gloves
- feminine products
- hand sanitizer
- shampoo/ conditioner
HOUSTON DROP OFF:
GRBC CONVENTION CENTER
St. John the Divine at 2450 River Oaks starting at 9 am.
DALLAS DROP OFF:
Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center
HERE ARE A COUPLE LISTS OF SHELTERS: I’m sure they are all accepting donations. Find one close to you and drop by.
There will eventually be a need for cleaning supplies, work gloves, brooms, trash bags, and materials to help with the cleaning effort. School supplies will need to be replaced and most kids will be without toys to even play with. Keep this in mind; the storm will end but this is only the beginning for a lot of families. Consider putting together little packages for kids to brighten their spirits and maybe provide snacks for those cleaning up their properties. (i.e. coloring books, crayons, markers, puzzles, playdough, small toys, candy, etc.) This would be a great thing to do at your church or with a small group of friends! If this is something you would like to do, send me a message and I can give you an address to send them to.
I encourage you to look around your home and see what you can sacrifice. If you are in the place to do so, take this list to the store and pick up a few items. There will be countless opportunities to donate.
I am working on a better way to collect/ distribute donations but this is what I have so far.
Finally, for my friends that want to help from afar, I am working on a more concrete plan but in them mean time, if you would like to donate supplies or provisions, you can send them to the addresses above or send me a message and we can talk about getting them sent to me and I can distribute them!