How To Help the Victims of Harvey

As you may know, I am from Texas. Although I haven’t lived there for over twenty years, all of my family is there as well as plenty of dear friends and even more memories. My husband is from Houston. As Hurricane Harvey came barreling through Rockport a few days ago, I couldn’t help but be worried about my hometown Victoria, Texas which was also in the path. As predicted, the storm eventually made its way to Houston and we all know what’s going on there. My husband’s sister woke up this morning to water in her house. His other sister has been evacuated and is hoping the water, which was inches away from her door yesterday, doesn’t rise any further, although it seems more likely that it will.

As I was enjoying my day off yesterday here in New York City, I found myself walking on Houston Street. (By the way, they pronounce it wrong here and say “How-ston.”) Even though I was 1,600 miles away, my mind was in Texas. I thought back to my very first restaurant job in Victoria at Sirloin Stockade and hoped that the building that is there now is safe. Someone sent me a photo of my favorite burger place in Victoria. Dairy Treet was where I would always stop before visiting my grandma, Mamo Rita, who lived a few blocks away. I’d get two burgers and we’d have lunch at her apartment. Seeing it battered and torn apart brought a tear to my eye. I thought about my first waiting job at Bennigan’s in Humble, Texas and wondered if it was under water. My aunt and uncle now live in the house that I lived in with my other grandmother in 1990. Mammaw Lillian helped me memorize that Bennigan’s menu and quizzed me so thoroughly that she knew the menu just as well as I did. My aunt and uncle evacuated several days ago, so we don’t know if their house is flooded yet or not. It probably is.

Texans need help.

If you can find it in your heart (and wallet) to spare a few dollars, your donations will not go unappreciated it. Ten bucks is what I gave and if everyone who sees this did the same thing, we can collectively make a difference. It hurts my heart to see my hometown devastated this way. It will be years before things are back to normal, but it will never be back the way it was.

Below are several trusted links that will let you help others. Thank you so much. -BW

The Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund of Houston’s mayor, Sylvester Turner, which is administered by the Greater Houston Community Foundation.

Houston Food Bank and the Food Bank of Corpus Christi are asking for donations.

Carter BloodCare covers hospitals in north, central and east Texas. To donate, call 877-571-1000 or text DONATE4LIFE to 444-999.

To help animals suffering from the disaster, visit the Houston Humane Society or the San Antonio Humane Society.

The Texas Diaper Bank in San Antonio is asking for diapers and wipes, which can be dropped off in person or mailed to 5415 Bandera Road, Suite 504, San Antonio, Tex., 78238.

The United Way of Greater Houston flood relief fund will be used to help with immediate needs as well as long-term services like minor home repair. Visit their website to donate or text UWFLOOD to 41444.

For more options, the Federal Emergency Management Agency recommends checking with the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster for a list of trusted disaster-relief organizations in Texas.

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