In this tragic time in Texas, it is our natural inclination to go to help those in need. Seeing footage from the disaster zone, hearing stories of survivors, and learning of those lost to the flooding can leave us feeling helpless. Fortunately, there are things we can do before the rains subside that can mean the world to those in need.
While it may seem tempting to fly down to Texas and start helping, The National Voluntary Organizations Active In Disasters is currently giving this message: “Thank you for your interest in volunteering to assist those affected by Hurricane Harvey. At this time, the situation is not conducive to volunteers entering the impacted zone, however the need for volunteers is inevitable.”
There are plenty of ways you can still help the citizens of Texas without physically being there. Sending money to reputable disaster relief organizations, and making donations of food, supplies, diapers, and even blood are some of the greatest needs right now. (And don’t forget there are a lot of displaced pets. There are organizations also collecting donations to help our furry friends)
After the storm subsides, organizations will be actively looking for volunteers to help in Texas. You can get started early by filling out this form: https://www.nvoad.org/hurricane-harvey/volunteer/ From this form, you can list the skills you have to offer, and the dates you will be available.
So, what can you do now?
Sign up to help volunteer - You could incentivize workers in your company to help with the cause giving a bonus to those who volunteer their time, or to let them take 1-2 weeks off without cutting into their vacation time.
Make a Monetary Donation - When you donate to a cause like this you will be able to use it on your tax forms, so make sure you donate through a reputable non-profit and keep proper documentation.
Encourage Staff To Donate - You can offer to match all employee donations to a certain point, or just give an interoffice memo to encourage giving.
Host a Blood Drive - Reach out to your local Red Cross to be a location for a blood drive for disaster relief. With flooding in hospitals, and with a high need for blood, this is an easy way to give back.
Wait to See What We Can Do - Right now, the storm is still doing damage in both Texas and Louisiana.It may be weeks before we know the extent to the damage in these areas. Until that time, waiting to hear what is needed will be the best thing we can do.