As the news reports come in, the devastation in Houston from Hurricane Harvey seems so extensive and unimaginable, it’s hard to know where to start. Being so far removed from the tragedy makes it harder to know tangible ways that we can help.
My mind goes first to the daily things that are so commonplace for us, but will no longer be easy for mamas in the Houston area who have lost everything. Things like cooking dinner, going on a Target run to get diapers, or washing laundry so the kids have clean underwear – all of these daily tasks have become ways that we can support our fellow mamas who are survivors of the hurricane.
I have dear friends in Texas, some in the Houston area, who have shared a few resources for those of us who are far away and need direction for where to help.
- Because diapers are not provided by disaster relief agencies, this is an urgent need. The Texas Diaper Bank is based in San Antonio, Texas and is able to deliver diapers to the mothers and fathers who have been displaced by Hurricane Harvey. You can give a cash donation through their website or purchase diapers and send them directly through their Amazon wish list. For more information visit: www.texasdiaperbank.org
- A local-to-Texas grocery store, H-E-B, has come to the aide of so many during this time. They have sent out mobile kitchen trucks to bring meals to thousands of displaced Houston residents. You can make a cash donation on their website where “100% of donations will be distributed to the American Red Cross, area Texas Food Banks, the Salvation Army, and Texas Search and Rescue/Cajun Navy.” For more information or to donate, visit their website: www.heb.com
- To stay up to date on how you can help volunteer (whether you are local or out-of-state), Houston’s First Baptist Church is working directly with people who need help. On their website you will find a form to sign up to volunteer as well as a place to make cash or supply donations. Some of their most needed supplies are trash bags, basic first-aid items and basic cleaning supplies. They have a list of supplies that are still needed, though for those who are not local, a cash donation would be most helpful so that they are able to get the supplies that they need most. For more information visit: www.houstonsfirst.org/lovefirst
- Something as simple as having clean underwear is a huge need during this time since there are so many people who no longer have access to a change of clothes and are unable to wash the clothes they have with them. To donate clean underwear, visit: www.undiesforeveryone.org
- The overwhelming stress of surviving a natural disaster is a lot for anyone, but for pregnant women, it can cause them to go into early labor. Fortunately, there are seven birth centers/midwifery practices in the Houston area that have not flooded. They are receiving cash donations through Birth Texas and have an Amazon wish list where donations can be sent directly to them through September 10th.
Rebuilding from this disaster will take a long time, but there are many ways that we can help bring relief to peoples’ everyday needs.
Hannah Anariba resides in the suburbs of Seattle with her husband, Rafael, and her two little girls who are 4 and 1-1/2 years old. She’s a coffee-drinking, Spanglish-speaking. mostly-stay-at-home mom who loves going new places, meeting new people, and listening to their stories. Her dream is to one day share the hope of the Gospel in Costa Rica, but for now she’s loving the Seattle life and putting down roots in the community that God has already given her.