Like us, we’re betting you’ve been glued to the television or your tablets, watching the horror of Harvey unfold. Our hearts are especially torn when we see kiddos piled in dump trucks or riding in boats or carrying a garbage bag into a rescue center. With our mama glasses on, we can see so much more than the physical devastation of wind and rain; we see the hurting hearts, the fears, and the confusion these families are battling.
So, we are asking: HOW CAN WE HELP???? The answer to that question evolves nearly every day as reports of new needs come in. You can bet we will update this blog post to reflect that. For now, these are real, tangible ways parents in Tarrant County and surrounding areas can assist the recovery and emergency efforts happening in DFW and in southeast Texas.
What Not to Do
At the risk of sounding too harsh . . . we want to make a bold statement: Think before you donate. A representative for a national relief organization told FWMB that the worst items for people to donate are clothing (especially if it is used clothing) and bottled water. Why? Because these are the items most people donate; the burden of storing, sorting, and distributing these items becomes too burdensome. In most instances, large relief organizations have bulk water on hand because water is a major need. Relief workers cannot wait for donated water to make its way to the disaster areas. For more insight into this topic, check out this article from a CBS station, “When Disaster Relief Brings Anything but Relief.”
In light of this information and what we are repeatedly hearing from others, we are recommending two ways to give: (1) meeting specific requests from specific organizations and (2) donating money.
ACH Child and Family Services :: This organization expects to receive 16 adolescents, with the very likely possibility of that number rising this week. These kiddos, displaced because of Harvey, have complex medical issues. ACH is asking for gift cards to Wal-Mart and Target to assist with providing the medications and supplies each individual child needs. You can drop off those gift cards — or mail them — to ACH Child and Family Services, 3712 Wichita Street, Fort Worth, Texas, 76119.
City of Dallas :: THOUSANDS of Harvey evacuees are here in DFW — with more coming every day. The city of Dallas has set up multiple shelter centers for Harvey survivors. Current in-kinds needs: portable cribs, play pens, diapers, wipes, formula, baby food (think for 12-18 month old children), feminine products (pads, tampons, panty liners, etc.), and new underwear and socks of all sizes. Drop off donations at the Trusted World center located at 15660 North Dallas Parkway from 3:00 – 8:00 p.m.
City of Fort Worth :: Fort Worth is now in full on relief and response mode. Starting August 29, two area shelters are open in Fort Worth for Harvey evacuees with the first stop via FWISD Wilkerson-Greines Activity Center. All Goodwill locations in Fort Worth are now drop-off sites for in-kind donations. DO NOT DROP OF DONATIONS AT THE SHELTERS. The city is specifically asking for: baby diapers, formula, any and all new socks and underwear in new packaging, blankets and towels, and plus-size clothing. Gift cards and monetary donations can be mailed or dropped off at Tarrant County’s Resource Connection Center, 1100 Circle Drive, 76119. If you are interested in volunteering — and they need volunteers — please register at voly.org.
Cook Children’s :: As many of you know, Cook Children’s NICU is now home to several tiny patients from south Texas. Cook Children’s Case Management Team is working with these families to meet their emergent needs, such as food, lodging, and transportation. If you would like to help support these families and other families it serves, you can make a monetary donation on its website.
SPCA of Texas :: Many southeast Texas animals are finding shelter here in DFW. This agency needs litter, litter boxes, towels, blankets, large wire crates, treats, pet beds, newspaper, and gift cards. In a genius idea, the SPCA created an Amazon wish list, where you can meet these needs without opening a car door.
Volunteer :: Call your favorite local charity to find out how you can assist its relief efforts and/or visit the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster website for a thorough listing identifying where volunteers are most needed. For local volunteering with evacuees, please register at voly.org.
Give Money, Please
We get it. It’s difficult to hand over money blindly, not knowing to whom it’s going or how it will be used. It’s normal to be skeptical or to simply want to know how you are making a difference with your donation. But can we beg you this one, urge you this one time to set aside those fears, to GIVE generously to our fellow Texans. How much more effective can we be to aid those thousands of displaced Texans if we can send the funds directly to the organizations on the front lines? It is also an added bonus if they can use those funds locally to support an economy that just took a major blow. Please, please, please consider donating — any amount — to any or all of these relief organizations, in addition to the agencies listed above:
American Red Cross :: Not only can you make an online donation, but you can also find out where to give blood. You can donate to the American Red Cross via iTunes or simply text “HARVEY” to 90-999 to make a donation of $10. The amount is added to your phone bill.
Local food banks :: The food banks in Harvey’s path need your help! Support these vital organizations by donating money for them to be able to feed people today and in the coming months. The food need will be great for our Texas neighbors. Click HERE to find contact information for local food banks in Houston, Corpus Christi, and other areas.
MassCare Task Force :: This organization has been vital to the organization of volunteers and supplies here in North Texas.
North Texas Food Bank :: Now that thousands of Harvey survivors are in North Texas, the food bank needs monetary donations to be able to purchase the types of foods most needed.
Samaritan’s Purse :: With boots already on the ground, this agency needs financial support and volunteers.
Texas Diaper Bank :: Is there an organization more aligned with all that FWMB stands for? This organization is turning out to be a vital player in the relief efforts post-Harvey.
World Vision :: Y’all, World Vision has a warehouse right here in DFW already prepped for TRUCKS of supplies headed toward Houston.
If none of these opportunities strikes your fancy, check with your favorite local or national charity and/or church and join forces with it. The main takeaway from this post: DO SOMETHING TO HELP OUR TEXAS FRIENDS. You can also read recent blog posts from our sister sites, Houston Moms Blog and Corpus Christi Moms Blog.
As needs evolve and we become aware of those, we will update this blog post. If you know of other ways to support Harvey survivors, please comment below.
We’re ending with wise words from Mr. Rogers himself. Cheers to the Texas spirit and hope for tomorrow!