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26 ways to help the Hurricane Harvey disaster relief efforts.

Want to help but don't know where to start?

As large swaths of Texas reel from Hurricane Harvey, people around the country are looking for ways to help with what will undoubtedly be a long and expensive recovery process.

If you're someone who wants to help but don't know what organization to support beyond the Red Cross, we've compiled a list of other organizations that will also need support in the coming weeks and months.

More than anything, many of these groups need financial help, but some are also accepting supplies from local donors.

A Rockport, Texas, firefighter goes door-to-door looking for people in need of help after Hurricane Harvey. Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images.


Here are 26 organizations that need support in the wake of Hurricane Harvey:  

1. Global Giving is trying to raise $2 million for Hurricane Harvey relief.

In addition to providing emergency supplies such as food, water, and medicine, it will also help support the rebuilding and recovery period to follow.

2. Convoy of Hope made the trip down to Texas with truckloads of food and medical supplies in tow.

3. Americares is working to get medical supplies to evacuees and first responders.

4. Direct Relief has made its medical inventory available to help in the wake of Harvey.

The group is sending Hurricane Preparedness Packs to people on the ground in Texas and has committed $200,000 to local response efforts.

5. The South Texas Blood and Tissue Center is taking online financial donations as well as in-person blood donations.

6. Heart to Heart International is on the ground delivering medical supplies to evacuees and responders.

7. The Homeless Period Project of Austin is delivering tampons, pads, and other period-related products to people displaced by the storm.

8. Nearby Airbnb hosts can help out by listing their places for free.

The company is waiving all administrative costs while still providing the Host Guarantee insurance coverage.

9. The George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston has opened its doors to those in need of shelter.

They're in need of supplies such as baby formula, diapers, hand sanitizer, nonperishable food, sweatsuits, socks, towels, bottles of water, soap, shampoo, toothpaste, blankets, and pillows. More information can be found on the George R. Brown website.

10. The Texas Diaper Bank is providing baby supplies to families in need.

To ensure our staff is safe through the storm, we will be reopening on Monday morning at 8am to collect diapers and any...

Posted by Texas Diaper Bank on Friday, August 25, 2017

11. Local Humane Society locations are doing what they can to help lost or abandoned pets.

We want to update everyone on conditions at HHS today. We are fortunate our buildings are not under water. The far...

Posted by Houston Humane Society on Sunday, August 27, 2017

12. Austin Pets Alive has taken in more than 200 animals since the storm hit.

The group's website lists a number of ways to help out financially, by volunteering, or by fostering pets.

13. The SPCA of Texas is taking in pets from animal shelters that have been hit by the storm.

14. Portlight is assisting people with disabilities during the storm and its aftermath.

Your generous contributions to Portlight are making this possible:We are now working with the Cajun Navy...a wonderful...

Posted by

Paul Timmons on Monday, August 28, 2017

15. Local food banks will be essential in the coming weeks.

Houston Press put together a list of food banks serving areas affected by the storm. Contact those locations individually or visit the Feeding Texas website for more information on how to help.

16. Covenant House is providing shelter to homeless youth, currently caring for 79 children in Houston.

17. Save the Children set up a Harvey Children's Relief Fund to get aid to kids and families in need.

18. Team Rubicon is deploying veterans and first responders to areas affected by the storm.

19. Immigrant and refugee nonprofit RAICES is providing support for undocumented immigrants who were abandoned by ICE before the storm hit.

This is what keeping communities safe looks like to #ICE: abandoning 50 asylum seeking mothers and children at a bus station in San Antonio before a hurricane. #DefundHate #HurricaneHarvey

Posted by RAICES on Saturday, August 26, 2017

20. Similarly, Catholic Charities is providing support to undocumented immigrants in the storm's path.

21. The Transgender Foundation of America launched a relief fund to help Houston-area trans and intersex individuals during and after the storm.

Trans individuals have a history of being turned away from shelters during disasters, making the relief fund necessary for survival.

22. Lions Clubs International issued a $100,000 grant to its local chapters to buy blankets, food, and other supplies.

23. The United Way of Greater Houston allows people to target their donation by county (or just send it wherever it's needed most).

To help those affected by the storm outside the Houston area, the United Way also has a list of additional recovery funds.

24. The United Methodist Committee on Relief is providing shelter and support along evacuation routes.

25. The Houston chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America is trying to raise $50,000 for food, water, and tarps.

26. GoFundMe created a hub of its Harvey-specific campaigns for easy access.

A wide range of causes are covered on that page, from individuals trying to raise money for home repairs to getting hot meals to evacuees.

Note: As is always the case with charities, it's a good idea to do a quick search on Charity Navigator before making a donation to any organization.

Leah Menzies/TikTok

Leah Menzies had no idea her deceased mother was her boyfriend's kindergarten teacher.

When you start dating the love of your life, you want to share it with the people closest to you. Sadly, 18-year-old Leah Menzies couldn't do that. Her mother died when she was 7, so she would never have the chance to meet the young woman's boyfriend, Thomas McLeodd. But by a twist of fate, it turns out Thomas had already met Leah's mom when he was just 3 years old. Leah's mom was Thomas' kindergarten teacher.

The couple, who have been dating for seven months, made this realization during a visit to McCleodd's house. When Menzies went to meet his family for the first time, his mom (in true mom fashion) insisted on showing her a picture of him making a goofy face. When they brought out the picture, McLeodd recognized the face of his teacher as that of his girlfriend's mother.

Menzies posted about the realization moment on TikTok. "Me thinking my mum (who died when I was 7) will never meet my future boyfriend," she wrote on the video. The video shows her and McLeodd together, then flashes to the kindergarten class picture.

“He opens this album and then suddenly, he’s like, ‘Oh my God. Oh my God — over and over again,” Menzies told TODAY. “I couldn’t figure out why he was being so dramatic.”

Obviously, Menzies is taking great comfort in knowing that even though her mother is no longer here, they can still maintain a connection. I know how important it was for me to have my mom accept my partner, and there would definitely be something missing if she wasn't here to share in my joy. It's also really incredible to know that Menzies' mother had a hand in making McLeodd the person he is today, even if it was only a small part.

@speccylee

Found out through this photo in his photo album. A moment straight out of a movie 🥲

♬ iris - 🫶

“It’s incredible that that she knew him," Menzies said. "What gets me is that she was standing with my future boyfriend and she had no idea.”

Since he was only 3, McLeodd has no actual memory of Menzies' mother. But his own mother remembers her as “kind and really gentle.”

The TikTok has understandably gone viral and the comments are so sweet and positive.

"No the chills I got omggg."

"This is the cutest thing I have watched."

"It’s as if she remembered some significance about him and sent him to you. Love fate 😍✨"

In the caption of the video, she said that discovering the connection between her boyfriend and her mom was "straight out of a movie." And if you're into romantic comedies, you're definitely nodding along right now.

Menzies and McLeodd made a follow-up TikTok to address everyone's positive response to their initial video and it's just as sweet. The young couple sits together and addresses some of the questions they noticed pop up. People were confused that they kept saying McLeodd was in kindergarten but only 3 years old when he was in Menzies' mother's class. The couple is Australian and Menzies explained that it's the equivalent of American preschool.

They also clarified that although they went to high school together and kind of knew of the other's existence, they didn't really get to know each other until they started dating seven months ago. So no, they truly had no idea that her mother was his teacher. Menzies revealed that she "didn't actually know that my mum taught at kindergarten."

"I just knew she was a teacher," she explained.

She made him act out his reaction to seeing the photo, saying he was "speechless," and when she looked at the photo she started crying. McLeodd recognized her mother because of the pictures Menzies keeps in her room. Cue the "awws," because this is so cute, I'm kvelling.

Laverne Cox in 2016.

When kids are growing up they love to see themselves in the dolls and action figures. It adds a special little spark to a shopping trip when you hear your child say “it looks just like me.” The beaming smile and joy that exudes from their little faces in that moment is something parents cherish, and Mattel is one manufacturer that has been at the forefront of making that happen. It has created Barbies with freckles, afro puffs, wheelchairs, cochlear implants and more. The company has taken another step toward representation with its first transgender doll.

Laverne Cox, openly transgender Emmy award winning actor and LGBTQ activist, is celebrating her 50th birthday May 29, and Mattel is honoring her with her very own Barbie doll. The doll designed to represent Cox is donned in a red ball gown with a silver bodysuit. It also has accessories like high heels and jewelry to complete the look. Cox told Today, “It’s been a dream for years to work with Barbie to create my own doll.” She continued, “I can’t wait for fans to find my doll on shelves and have the opportunity to add a Barbie doll modeled after a transgender person to their collection.”

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Photo by Heather Mount on Unsplash

Actions speak far louder than words.

It never fails. After a tragic mass shooting, social media is filled with posts offering thoughts and prayers. Politicians give long-winded speeches on the chamber floor or at press conferences asking Americans to do the thing they’ve been repeatedly trained to do after tragedy: offer heartfelt thoughts and prayers. When no real solution or plan of action is put forth to stop these senseless incidents from occurring so frequently in a country that considers itself a world leader, one has to wonder when we will be honest with ourselves about that very intangible automatic phrase.

Comedian Anthony Jeselnik brilliantly summed up what "thoughts and prayers" truly mean. In a 1.5-minute clip, Jeselnik talks about victims' priorities being that of survival and not wondering if they’re trending at that moment. The crowd laughs as he mimics the actions of well-meaning social media users offering thoughts and prayers after another mass shooting. He goes on to explain how the act of performatively offering thoughts and prayers to victims and their families really pulls the focus onto the author of the social media post and away from the event. In the short clip he expertly expresses how being performative on social media doesn’t typically equate to action that will help victims or enact long-term change.

Of course, this isn’t to say that thoughts and prayers aren’t welcomed or shouldn’t be shared. According to Rabbi Jack Moline "prayer without action is just noise." In a world where mass shootings are so common that a video clip from 2015 is still relevant, it's clear that more than thoughts and prayers are needed. It's important to examine what you’re doing outside of offering thoughts and prayers on social media. In another several years, hopefully this video clip won’t be as relevant, but at this rate it’s hard to see it any differently.