Rescue boats fill a flooded street at flood victims are evacuated as floodwaters from Tropical Storm Harvey rise Monday, Aug. 28, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
On what was supposed to be the first day of school for many, the state with the second largest K-12 student population in the US was in a total state of crisis in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. As reported in the New York Times, more than 160 Texas public school districts, and 30 charter schools were closed. That's 160 districts, consisting of hundreds of schools, and thousands and thousands of students. Some of these schools are likely to be closed for months.
What can you do to help these schools get up and running in the meanwhile, and help the teachers and students affected by this natural disaster? There are many places you can donate, and other ways to help.
Of course, it is important to seek out charities that are effective at maximizing the percent of donations that go directly to help people and organizations. Those listed below are assumed to be effective in that regard, but I encourage donors to look these sites over and draw their own conclusions. For example, here is a statement from the Global Giving Foundation about their vetting process: https://www.globalgiving.org/aboutus/how-it-works/vetting/.
The United Way of Great Houston
This page notes that, “100% of your gift to the United Way Relief Fund goes to help our neighbors and our community recover from Hurricane Harvey.”
The Greater Houston Community Foundation
Mayor Sylvester Turner worked with the non-profit GHCF to establish the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund: https://ghcf.org/hurricane-relief/.
The Global Giving Foundation
The long standing GGF has also established Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund:
Donate to the Red Cross
Here is the Red Cross's Hurricane Harvey Page: http://www.redcross.org/hp/harvey2
While the Red Cross certainly helps schools in affected communities, this trusted institution also helps in many other ways.
Donate to the Texas AFT (American Federation of Teachers)
This union promises to, “provide direct relief to affected members. Please note that all donations will be used for disaster relief and no other purpose.”
Air BnB Urgent Accomodations
Those who have a home or apartment they can make available can do so here:
Donors Choose has been helping teachers and classrooms since 2000. Here is their Hurricane Harvey page: https://www.donorschoose.org/hurricane-harvey
Spread the Word
Share this post on social media and encourage others to help and share!
Much thanks to WeAreTeachers and NPR.org, where I gathered much of this information. (I am repeating what was already published elsewhere because my goal is simply to help spread the word about steps we can take to help others in the difficult time.)