Hurricane Harvey: How We Can Help

The rescue and assistance request posts are heartbreaking, and there are so, so many of them every day. I belong to a nationwide (international, actually) physician Facebook group over 60K members strong. When local emergency services were overwhelmed by the impossible number of calls, people turned to social media, and this particular group is extremely effective at getting s**t done.

Posts have come from M.D.’s as first responders seeking advice or volunteers; as victims desperate for rescue or just a place to crash; as Samaritans offering their time or home; or just sharing these posts on behalf of others. 

As a primary care doc in Boston, I feel a little helpless; all I can do for many of these is to “bump” their post, so it gets more views and attention. That and offering prayers, support. 

But I want to do more. I can’t stop thinking about all the people and animals impacted by Hurricane Harvey. I’m so distracted, I got on the wrong damned train home yesterday. 

So I’ve been looking for vetted organizations that may not have a lot of fancy PR or fundraising, where donations will be much appreciated and well-utilized. 

The best curated list I’ve found (and there are a lot out there) was just posted on Texas Monthly’s The Daily Post, with suggestions for donations in sorely needed areas like diapering supplies, medical equipment and care for the disabled, and the massive influx of abandoned animals, among others. Read the original article here, and below are a few of the links:

Texas Diaper Bank distributes diapering supplies to families with small children in need. 

The Driscoll Children’s Hospital in Corpus Christi serves a large area of the coast and is accepting donations. 

The Portlight Organization assists people with special needs who may require special equipment or services during an emergency. 

DirectRelief USA works with doctors to provide free prescription medication to people who need it. 

The SPCA (Society for the Protection of Animals) of Texas is caring for many of the area pets lost or abandoned in the disaster and they really need support. They just took in over 120 cats from a shelter that flooded. 

The Houston Food Bank will be providing much- needed nourishment to displaced people for some time. 

Again, these are just a few worthy organizations. If all we can do is donate, and share the information with others, that’s a small thing, but it’s something. 

Photo credit WSJ online, no photographer listed

1 thought on “Hurricane Harvey: How We Can Help”

  • Thanks – I needed that portlight link. Saw it on FB yesterday. One of my friends in physician women for democratic principals had a link to a physician led relief effort that originated at Katrina. Baton Rouge Emergency Aid Coalition – donated there too. My husband and his dad plan to travel there this fall to help rebuild. It is so traumatic, even for those of us watching, feeling helpless.

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