Hurricane Harvey :: How Can Milwaukee Help?

Hurricane Harvey ReliefThe flood waters keep rising in Texas, so we’re going to keep sharing more options for how Wisconsin can get involved in the relief efforts. Our sister sites, Houston Moms Blog and Corpus Christi Moms Blog, have team members who have literally lost everything they own and it’s part of a mama’s heart to want to help. It can be easy to feel helpless when watching the videos and photos from afar, but we want to give you some tangible steps you can take RIGHT NOW that will be part of the greater relief effort. We encourage you to consider helping in any way you can!
 

Ask the Source

Find resources that are located right in the thick of it who can speak to what people really need and what they absolutely do not need. Here are a couple to start with: 

Monetary Donations

Five dollars. Ten dollars. Any amount of dollars you can give is literally the easiest and most effective way to contribute to the relief effort. Here are several ways you can give confidently, knowing your money will be put to good use by people you can trust. 

  • Houston Flood Relief Fund :: Pewaukee’s own JJ Watt, Houston Texans’ #99, has set up an online fundraiser called the Houston Flood Relief Fund.  He has graciously donated $100,000 to get the fund started and is personally rallying his troops to continue to raise funds. As of this writing, it has soared to over 1.2 million dollars raised! {UPDATE: Now at 5.3 MILLION dollars!!}
  • Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund :: The City of Houston has established the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund. The organization is accepting tax deductible donations in the form of checks, money orders, bank wire transfers, stock, corporate bonds, and other marketable securities.
  • Texas Diaper Bank :: The Texas Diaper Bank is requesting donations of cash and diapers (which are not provided as part of disaster relief) to provide emergency diaper kits for families that are being displaced due to Hurricane Harvey. Visit the donation page at http://texasdiaperbank.org and designate your donation for Disaster Relief.
  • Samaritan’s Purse :: Notorious for being the “boots on the ground” who dig in and help as soon as possible, Samaritan’s Purse already has teams on site who are participating in rescue and recovery. Donate at their website
  • The Salvation Army :: Support the tremendous efforts of The Salvation Army by donating online, by mail {PO Box 1959, Atlanta, GA 30301}, or by phone {1-800-SAL-ARMY}.
  • DonorsChoose.org :: For many regions in coastal Texas, the start of school has been delayed and teachers are faced with starting a school year amid tragedy. DonorsChoose.org currently has a fund going to help Houston teachers rebuild and restock their classrooms with materials such as books, furniture, technology, and so much more.
  • Legacy Collective :: From fellow mom Jen Hatmaker, Legacy Collective is a new kind of giving community focused on partnering, pioneering, and funding sustainable solutions to systemic social issues. They have a fund available specifically for Harvey Relief here
  • Houston SPCA :: Got a heart for our four-legged friends? At the same time that people have been forced from their homes, so have the pets. You can donate to the shelters and organizations in the Houston area that are devoted to helping pets and their owners at HoustonSPCA.org

Shop for a Cause

There have been several shop owners, businesses, brands and more who have stepped up to offer their products with proceeds going toward relief efforts. Here are just a couple of our favorites that we found. 

  • In This Together :: We’ve partnered with Ink to the People to create this “In This Together” shirt that really speaks to so much of how many of us are feeling. Proceeds from the sale of the shirt go directly to the Texas Diaper Bank! Order yours HERE! 
  • Milwaukeehome :: For every #HoustonHome Shirt sold our friends at Milwaukeehome are going to donate $10 towards a relief fund in #Texas. Get your #HoustonHome Shirt here. 
  • Texas Diaper Bank :: Want to purchase diapers to send DIRECTLY to the Texas Diaper Bank? Amazon has you covered. Through the Texas Diaper Bank gift registry, you can purchase diapers on Amazon and they will get shipped right to the diaper bank if you select them as the shipping address. How awesome is that?
  • Ink to the People :: Local shirt fundraising powerhouse Ink to the People already has several campaigns live that are going to support the relief efforts. 
  • Fresh Apparel :: Check out more details and get shopping! Known for their sassy, witty shirts, 100% of sales on Thursday 8/31 at Fresh Apparel are going to benefit the Texas Diaper Bank.

Step Up and Step Out

When Hurricane Katrina ravaged New Orleans, people were taking in friends of friends of friends’ cousins twice removed. If you have connections in the coastal Texas area and have space to spare, you might have the opportunity to offer them shelter. In the coming weeks, there will be several opportunities for those with the ability to do so, to head out and get their hands dirty in the relief efforts. If this is the way you like to roll, local churches are typically a great resource for connecting with a relief effort and here are a few more organizations to check out. 

  • American Red Cross
  • Samaritan’s Purse
  • Donate Blood :: There is a desperate need for blood in the wake of Harvey. Officials with the BloodCenter of Wisconsin are asking that anyone able to donate blood do so as soon as possible so that needed support can be provided to patients in need in Texas. They noted that all blood collections in Houston have been canceled, and donor centers are closed. To schedule an appointment, call 1-877-BE-A-HERO or visit https://www.bcw.edu.
  • Supply Drive at Pewaukee High School :: The Watt family has set up a supply drive for flood victims and donations can be brought to Pewaukee High School on Wednesday (8/30) and Thursday (8/31) with the trucks rolling out to Houston on Friday! Check out the story for more details, including what items are being accepted for donations and the times the donation drive is open. 
  • Send Underwear :: Yes, underwear. New, clean, in the package underwear. It’s a thing and it’s needed. Brené Brown has some great resources for how to supply underwear to food victims with her Facebook video found here. Shop the Amazon Gift List to send new packages of underwear to Undies for Everyone or you can make a donation on their website where they will purchase wholesale and deliver to those in need. 
  • HAWS Waukesha :: The Humane Animal Welfare Society of Waukesha County (HAWS) is looking for foster parents as it is scheduled to receive its first transport of animals displaced by Hurricane Harvey starting on Monday, September 4th. There is a big need for foster homes for these four-legged friends for approximately 60 – 90 day time periods. Learn more about being a foster home for these pets!

No matter what you decide to do, whether it is to donate, shop, volunteer or just pray….thank you in advance for your support and efforts in helping our sisters to the south. Stay tuned, as we will update this post with new opportunities as we find out about them. 

 

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