The devastation in Texas from Hurricane Harvey is heart wrenching to see. The response from first responders and watching all the citizen heroes helping to rescue strangers has been absolutely incredible. Understandably, many people here in Hampton Roads, throughout the country, and around the world want to do what they can to help. Oftentimes goods such as clothing, household items, and food are donated. But when unsolicited items are sent to disaster areas and there is no place to store and distribute the items it can create a disaster within a disaster. Every truck that arrives requires dedication of manpower and space that in many cases are not available and sometimes the donations wind up in a landfill due to the logistical challenges they create. Therefore, the State of Texas is asking that you please DO NOT donate unsolicited goods at this time.
Instead, the most effective and efficient way for individuals and private sector partners to support disaster survivors in their recovery is to donate money to trusted, reputable, voluntary or charitable organizations. Cash donations offer voluntary agencies and faith-based organizations the most flexibility to address urgently developing needs, as well as needs that arise over the coming months and years. With cash in hand, these organizations can obtain needed resources locally which will help local economies recover.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced that the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation have collaborated with the OneStar Foundation to form the Rebuild Texas Fund. Michael & Susan Dell are leading the charge to raise $100 million for the fund. Those wishing to donate to the fund can do so by visiting www.rebuildtx.org
or by texting ‘rebuildtx’ to 91999. There are many other organizations that provide aid and assistance in times of emergencies. The National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster website
has a list of major non-profits active in disaster work.