50+ Ways to Help the Victims of Harvey (and other disasters yet to come)

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ways to help harvey victimsAround the world people are reaching out to my beloved Texas, wanting to help. In some cases, well-meaning help comes in the way of used clothing and items that are redundant and no longer needed. The fire station by my house begged, “Please! No more food!”

I’m learning first hand that in situations like this, needs are very fluid. One shelter might be desperate for adult diapers on one day and bottled water and energy bars the very next. I’ve been combing through lists of needed items by shelters, churches, community centers, and schools and believe this is very comprehensive of ways to help Harvey victims. If you have something you believe should be added to my list, leave it in the Comments section.

  • Cash — This isn’t impersonal, whatsoever, but allows groups and recovery efforts to spend that money where it’s most needed.
  • Gift cards — This is almost as versatile as cash. Home Depot, Lowe’s, VISA, grocery stores, Walmart, Target, Sam’s Club, Costco — these are all good choices, and I’m sure a Starbucks gift card would be greatly appreciated as well.
  • Hand sanitizer — Bottles of this in all sizes
  • Combs and brushes
  • Deodorant — Non-gender specific, unscented preferred
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Tampons and feminine pads
  • Laundry detergent
  • Clorox bleach
  • Lysol concentrate
  • Large sponges
  • Rubber gloves
  • Buckets — Here’s a chance to put those empty 5 gallon buckets you’ve stashed for food storage to another use!
  • Wash cloths and towels — Depending on the location, some
  • Lysol/Clorox wipes
  • Windex
  • Shaving razors
  • Water bottles
  • Advil/Tylenol
  • Neosporin
  • Band-Aids
  • Non-perishable food — Print out this list for ideas.
  • Face masks
  • Box fans, portable fans
  • Extension cords
  • Small generators
  • Filled gas cans
  • Brooms and mops
  • Tarps
  • Sheetrock knives
  • Empty spray bottles
  • Garbage bags
  • Gas leaf blowers
  • Wet vacuums
  • Hammers
  • Pet food
  • Pet crates
  • Baby formula
  • Diapers
  • Baby food
  • Adult diapers
  • Baby wipes
  • New underwear
  • New socks
  • Toilet paper
  • Bar soap
  • New towels
  • Toothpaste and toothbrush
  • New t-shirts
  • Water
  • Books or small toys and stuffed animals
  • Paper, crayons, markers, art supplies (kids with trauma from losing everything often need an outlet. It is often expressed in what they draw and create)
  • Bandanas (hair, sweat, etc)
  • Hair clips and bands (it’s hot, keeps hair out of the way when cleaning/working/easy maint. for kids hair)
  • Bug spray
  • Chap stick
  • Sunscreen
  • Powder (chafing)
  • Snacks for kids that are shelf stable, such as Fun Fruits
  • School supplies
  • Plastic bins

If you want to be more involved personally, then consider:

  • Calling local churches to see how you can be involved. I’ve discovered in my town that churches are the hubs of hand-to-hand assistance, both with rescue, recovery, and rebuilding.
  • Offer to babysit children and care for pets while families are busy with packing up their belongings, sorting through what can be kept and what is trash, demo work on their homes, etc.
  • Don’t overlook apartment dwellers. A single complex can house hundreds of families and in a flood, the bottom floors, at least will have been affected.
  • Fill an ice chest with bottles of water, let them chill for a while, and then drive through damaged neighborhoods, offering ice cold bottled water. On a warm day, this is nectar of the gods!
  • At this point, Amazon Prime is your friend. There will be shortages of things like face masks, drywall knives, gloves, etc., but Amazon never seems to run short on anything and with Prime, you’ll get what you need in just a couple of days with no need to battle traffic, closed roads, etc.
  • Speaking of Amazon, flood victims can create Amazon lists to share with their closest friends and relatives who want to help. This provides a list of specific supplies, home goods, etc. that are needed. Here’s how to create an Amazon List.
  • Fill brown bags with snacks for kids: a juice box, a bag of fun fruits, a Lunchable, etc. No peanuts.
  • If you have money, give money. By far, it’s the most versatile form of assistance.
  • If you have physical strength, offer to help with demo work, removing debris, etc.
  • If you have time, spend it as a phone volunteer for organizations that are receiving calls for help.
  • Step out of your comfort zone as you offer help. Some will receive it gladly, some may refuse it because it’s awkward to suddenly be in a position of need.

What else should be on the list of ways to help Harvey victims?

ways to help harvey victims

 

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I'm the original Survival Mom, and have been helping moms worry less and enjoy their homes and families more for 9 years.

3 thoughts on “50+ Ways to Help the Victims of Harvey (and other disasters yet to come)”

  1. We donated to Operation BBQ Relief they seem to do a good job of going where they are needed. They also offer up more than just a hot meal. BBQ is comfort food for the soul. I volunteered with Catholic Charities after Katrina. We went almost a year after the storm hit. There was still plenty of work to be done. I think one of the best ways to help is to wait until the initial crisis is over to offer help. I know the Catholic Church, LDS Church, Methodist Church and a few others will be there years from now still helping people.

  2. Make sure you file with fema and your insurance even if you dont think you have damage. Many programs that can offer help require an insurance adjuster’s report and a fema letter even if it’s a denial letter.

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