Over the weekend, Texas braced for a potentially historic hurricane, the first of its kind in nearly two decades. Hurricane Harvey was initially predicted to land in Texas as a Category 3 hurricane, but was upgraded to a Category 4, meaning a greater amount of destruction would likely be left in its path. As Texas residents are experiencing flooding and extreme rains, now is the time for the rest of the country to step up to help. Here are some Hurricane Harvey GoFundMe campaigns you can donate to in order to help give victims relief in the area.
Though Harvey settled on the Texas coast on Friday, rains could continue for several more days, with some areas experiencing 50 inches of rain from the hurricane. Texas and surrounding areas have been hit hard with the brunt of the storm. NPR reported that the Federal Emergency Management Agency has deployed more than 1,800 staff and has a million meals to distribute to affected individuals.
The New York Times reported Monday that due to the historic flooding, more than 450,000 people will likely ask for federal aid. At least five people died and a dozen were injured during the storm over the weekend. Although Harvey's winds are now down to tropical storm category — meaning they're below 73 mph — the lasting damage of Harvey will likely take years to recover from.
The need for relief among residents in Texas and affected areas is great, and one way you can help is by donating to GoFundMe campaigns. Here are a few worth noting.
1. Sisterhood Strong For Texas
This campaign is led by Good Morning America contributor Tory Johnson who wrote on the campaign page:
When Hurricane Katrina displaced thousands of New Orleans residents who were bused to the Houston Astrodome, I flew there to help. I met Doris Banks, a young single mom who needed a new job and a new home. We made it happen fast. 12 years later, we've remained friends.
Now our powerful SISTERHOOD is joining together to show the strength of our collective support for the people of Texas. Once Harvey fully passes and the cameras are gone, we'll work with local resources to identify where and how our funds can make the greatest impact.
2. Houston Flood Relief
This GoFundMe will be used to send water, food, and aid to those who are recovering in Houston. The poster, a resident of Katy, Texas, wrote:
This fundraiser will provide those who have lost everything with essential resources such as water and food and aid in the effort to rescue and evacuate those that are trapped in high water.
All of the resources will be distributed by me personally as well as being used to support other local efforts that are underway.
I am in Katy (Westside of Houston) with little flooding at the moment so I am able to receive and distribute resources from our position.
I have a pickup truck and am actively working on getting a boat to reach as many people as possible.
3. Hurricane Harvey's HISD Students
This campaign is dedicated to helping the Houston Independent School District, which serves 215,000 students, by raising funds for children's school supplies and clothing for their first day, which was pushed back from Aug. 28 because of the flooding.
4. Harvey Disaster Animal Fund
Animals are also being affected by the dangerous flooding in Texas. The charity 4 Paws Farm partnered with I Love My Dog to start a campaign to provide relief for pets who are coming into the shelters north of Houston. The group provides vet care, food, bedding, and possible transportation for pets who are stranded by the storm. On the page, Paws Farm Executive Director Nancy Stoorza wrote:
4 Paws Farm has partnered with I Love My Dog's community of over 5.2 million dog and pet lovers in an effort to help maximize our ability to help as many pets as possible in all of the areas impacted by Harvey. 4 Paws Farm is a registered 501C(3). All funds will be held by 4 Paws Farm and dispersed across the impacted area.
5. Hurricane Harvey Relief
Country singer Chris Young started a Hurricane Harvey relief GoFundMe, in which he explains:
I'm pledging $100,000 to benefit the Red Cross in an effort to help everyone in Texas that has been affected by this hurricane. All donations will be routed through the Chris Young Foundation to distribute directly to Harvey relief through the Red Cross and other disaster relief organizations.
6. Chinquapin School Harvey Relief
The campaign will benefit the Chinquapin Preparatory School in Highlands, Texas, outside of Houston, where he wrote:
Numerous buildings here are flooded (though those of us still on campus are thankfully safe). We are a 6-12 school that helps children from economically disadvantaged homes make it to college. Many of our students' homes have been flooded in the storm. Your donation would go towards helping these families and repairing the school so that when the rains finally stop, we can get back to the important mission of teaching these amazing kids.
7. Hurricane Harvey Recovery Fund
This is a campaign for the Rockport-Fulton Chamber of Commerce in Rockport, Texas, to help those in the area rebuild their homes and businesses.
There are many people who will be unable to help themselves, their businesses and organizations. We know there are a number of kind souls across the entire country who will be willing to help. Love to all.
We have devastation estimated in the $100s of millions of dollars.
This fund will help assist our communities in the rebuilding process.
8. Hurricane Harvey Disaster Relief
This campaign will fund a trip for EMTs from California to provide aid for Texas residents affected by the flooding.
We are Emergency Medical Technicians flying from the California to Southeast Texas to provide emergency medical care and relief for the victims of Hurricane Harvey. This fund is to support our trip there.
9. Mindtree's Fund-Hurricane Harvey
This campaign will benefit Feeding Texas, a network of food banks that will send out food to those affected by the hurricane.
10. Hurricane Harvey
A volunteer with Remote Area Medical based in Knoxville, Tennessee, created the campaign to travel to Texas to provide medical and dental care.
As always, I am a non-paid volunteer. As such, any assistance you can provide to aid me in paying for my expenses, I would greatly appreciate the assistance. I expect to be working between 2-3 weeks during this mission. The money donated will be used to pay my personal expenses such as air fair, food, housing and any other expenses. While I am a volunteer with Remote Area Medical, these funds come to me and I AM NOT a tax deductible charity. Thanks for any assistance you can provide.
11. Help our KIPPsters- Hurricane Harvey
This campaign raises money for the students from KIPP Houston High School who have been affected by the hurricane.
Many of our students and staff have lost their belongings, cars, and even homes. School is out for the next week, and I am hoping to collect as much money as possible to help get our families in need back on their feet. I, School Leader at KIPP Houston High School (KHHS), will make sure that 100% of your donation will be dispersed as appropriately as possible to our Team and Family both at KHHS and beyond.
While you should certainly do your research when deciding who to give to, campaigns like GoFundMe are a simple way to get your donations to those who may be struggling in the aftermath of a natural disaster.