How to help disaster survivors in Texas

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WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – At KSN, we know that Kansans have a very generous spirit.

On Monday, KSN held a telethon from 4 to 7 p.m. In those three hours, viewers donated $25,000. Textron Aviation also matched the donation with $5,000 for a grand total of $30,000.

If you would like to donate now, the Red Cross is accepting donations. Simply text HARVEY to 90999 to make a $10 donation. You can also visit The American Red Cross or call 1-800-HELP-NOW.

The city of Houston has also established a Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund. People can donate online at www.ghcf.org, or send checks or money orders to Greater Houston Community Foundation, 5120 Woodway Drive, Suite 6000, Houston, TX 77056.

At the national level, many organizations are active in disasters, and are trusted ways to donate to disaster survivors. Individuals, corporations, and volunteers, can learn more about how to help on the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD) website.

Check the charity

Before you donate to a charity, make sure you know where your aid is going. The Center for International Disaster Information recommends checking with a charity monitoring organization like GiveWellCharity NavigatorCharity Watch, or the Better Business Bureau before donating.

Make sure your donation is secure by going through an organization’s official website or sending a check in the mail. Charity Navigator says you should never donate over the phone, email or unknown social media pages, as these are easier for scammers to target.

Give cash, not supplies

Most charities prefer monetary donations. These are more flexible and cause less of a strain on the charity, allowing them to help more, the CIDI explained.

“Unlike material donations, cash involves no transportation costs, shipping delays, or customs fees. It also enables relief organizations to spend more time providing aid by spending less time managing goods,” the organization explained on its website.

Volunteering

The State of Texas is asking volunteers to not self-deploy, as unexpectedly showing up to any of the communities that have been impacted by Hurricane Harvey will create an additional burden for first responders.

To ensure volunteer safety, as well as the safety of disaster survivors, volunteers should only go into affected areas with a specific volunteer assignment, proper safety gear, and valid identification.

At this time, potential volunteers are asked to register with a voluntary or charitable organization of their choice, many of which are already in Texas and supporting survivors on the ground.

The National and Texas VOAD websites are offering links to those who wish to register to volunteer with community- and faith-based organizations working in the field.


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