All area food banks are accepting contributions, including the Central Texas Food Bank (Austin and surrounding areas), Houston Food Bank, the Galveston County Food Bank, and the Corpus Christi Food Bank. They all take online donations.
So many families are in dire circumstances now, with only the bare minimum of clothing, medicine, diapers, and other essentials, that we especially want to highlight groups that are focusing on children. Many groups will need help over the long term to support people who have lost nearly all their material possessions and will take months or years to rebuild and make themselves whole again.
Many churches and nonprofit groups in Austin are looking for volunteers, and we know that plenty of students and people in the Alt Ed community are eager to help. A general clearinghouse for volunteers to assist in projects related to Hurricane Harvey is available at the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster site. Locally, the Austin Disaster Relief Network has a constantly updated list of trainings. And of course, the American Red Cross is seeking volunteers now and always, and will train you in disaster relief protocols.
Finally, we understand that many hospitals and trauma centers are experiencing blood shortages, so consider heading to a local blood donation center this week.
Shelley Sperry and Teri Sperry