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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.

Connections Academy

Wylee Mitchell is a senior at Nevada Connections Academy who started a t-shirt company to raise awareness for mental health.

True

Teens of today live in a totally different world than the one their parents grew up in. Not only do young people have access to technologies that previous generations barely dreamed of, but they're also constantly bombarded with information from the news and media.

Today’s youth are also living through a pandemic that has created an extra layer of difficulty to an already challenging age—and it has taken a toll on their mental health.

According to Mental Health America, nearly 14% of youths ages 12 to 17 experienced a major depressive episode in the past year. In a September 2020 survey of high schoolers by Active Minds, nearly 75% of respondents reported an increase in stress, anxiety, sadness and isolation during the first six months of the pandemic. And in a Pearson and Connections Academy survey of US parents, 66% said their child felt anxious or depressed during the pandemic.

However, the pandemic has only exacerbated youth mental health issues that were already happening before COVID-19.

“Many people associate our current mental health crisis with the pandemic,” says Morgan Champion, the head of counseling services for Connections Academy Schools. “In fact, the youth mental health crisis was alarming and on the rise before the pandemic. Today, the alarm continues.”

Mental Health America reports that most people who take the organization’s online mental health screening test are under 18. According to the American Psychiatric Association, about 50% of cases of mental illness begin by age 14, and the tendency to develop depression and bipolar disorder nearly doubles from age 13 to age 18.

Such statistics demand attention and action, which is why experts say destigmatizing mental health and talking about it is so important.

“Today we see more people talking about mental health openly—in a way that is more akin to physical health,” says Champion. She adds that mental health support for young people is being more widely promoted, and kids and teens have greater access to resources, from their school counselors to support organizations.

Parents are encouraging this support too. More than two-thirds of American parents believe children should be introduced to wellness and mental health awareness in primary or middle school, according to a new Global Learner Survey from Pearson. Since early intervention is key to helping young people manage their mental health, these changes are positive developments.

In addition, more and more people in the public eye are sharing their personal mental health experiences as well, which can help inspire young people to open up and seek out the help they need.

“Many celebrities and influencers have come forward with their mental health stories, which can normalize the conversation, and is helpful for younger generations to understand that they are not alone,” says Champion.

That’s one reason Connections Academy is hosting a series of virtual Emotional Fitness talks with Olympic athletes who are alums of the virtual school during Mental Health Awareness Month. These talks are free, open to the public and include relatable topics such as success and failure, leadership, empowerment and authenticity. For instance, on May 18, Olympic women’s ice hockey player Lyndsey Fry will speak on finding your own style of confidence, and on May 25, Olympic figure skater Karen Chen will share advice for keeping calm under pressure.

Family support plays a huge role as well. While the pandemic has been challenging in and of itself, it has actually helped families identify mental health struggles as they’ve spent more time together.

“Parents gained greater insight into their child’s behavior and moods, how they interact with peers and teachers,” says Champion. “For many parents this was eye-opening and revealed the need to focus on mental health.”

It’s not always easy to tell if a teen is dealing with normal emotional ups and downs or if they need extra help, but there are some warning signs caregivers can watch for.

“Being attuned to your child’s mood, affect, school performance, and relationships with friends or significant others can help you gauge whether you are dealing with teenage normalcy or something bigger,” Champion says. Depending on a child’s age, parents should be looking for the following signs, which may be co-occurring:

  • Perpetual depressed mood
  • Rocky friend relationships
  • Spending a lot of time alone and refusing to participate in daily activities
  • Too much or not enough sleep
  • Not eating a regular diet
  • Intense fear or anxiety
  • Drug or alcohol use
  • Suicidal ideation (talking about being a burden or giving away possessions) or plans

“You know your child best. If you are unsure if your child is having a rough time or if there is something more serious going on, it is best to reach out to a counselor or doctor to be sure,” says Champion. “Always err on the side of caution.”

If it appears a student does need help, what next? Talking to a school counselor can be a good first step, since they are easily accessible and free to visit.

“Just getting students to talk about their struggles with a trusted adult is huge,” says Champion. “When I meet with students and/or their families, I work with them to help identify the issues they are facing. I listen and recommend next steps, such as referring families to mental health resources in their local areas.”

Just as parents would take their child to a doctor for a sprained ankle, they shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help if a child is struggling mentally or emotionally. Parents also need to realize that they may not be able to help them on their own, no matter how much love and support they have to offer.

“That is a hard concept to accept when parents can feel solely responsible for their child’s welfare and well-being,” says Champion. “The adage still stands—it takes a village to raise a child. Be sure you are surrounding yourself and your child with a great support system to help tackle life’s many challenges.”

That village can include everyone from close family to local community members to public figures. Helping young people learn to manage their mental health is a gift we can all contribute to, one that will serve them for a lifetime.

Join athletes, Connections Academy and Upworthy for candid discussions on mental health during Mental Health Awareness Month. Learn more and find resources here.

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Of course, wrecks aside, buying a used car might end up costing more in the long run after needing repairs, breaking down and just a general slew of unexpected surprises. But hey, at least we can all look back and laugh.

My first car, for example, was a hand-me-down Toyota of some sort from my mother. I don’t recall the specific model, but I definitely remember getting into a fender bender within the first week of having it. She had forgotten to get the brakes fixed … isn’t that a fun story?

Jimmy Fallon recently asked his “Tonight Show” audience on Twitter to share their own worst car experiences. Some of them make my brake fiasco look like cakewalk (or cakedrive, in this case). Either way, these responses might make us all feel a little less alone. Or at the very least, give us a chuckle.

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"Rules are a bit more rigid, attention and validation is directed and somewhat excessive," Niro Feliciano, LCSW, a psychotherapist and anxiety specialist, told Parents. "As a result, firstborns tend to be leaders, high achievers, people-pleasing, rule-following and conscientious, several of the qualities that tend to predict success."

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