- Do your homework. Check out the credentials of a potential donee/charitable organization before you donate. Charity Navigator is useful for gathering information about existing charities and has a Hurricane Harvey specific section. Forbes has its own list of the largest charities in the US complete with details on revenues, corporate pay, fundraising efficiency, and more (just click on the individual charity’s name for more info). Finally, you can always confirm charitable status through the IRS web site using the EO Select Check Tool. Remember that some organizations (like churches) may not be listed, so don’t be afraid to ask organizations which don’t appear on the list for more information.
- Check with the organization first. While most organizations prefer cash, there are some soliciting in-kind donations. Those wish lists may change as needs are assessed and storage for items may be limited. Check with the organization before you send or drop off anything. And if you’re planning to claim a tax deduction for any in-kind goods, be sure to keep receipts showing what you paid for the items.
Samaritan’s Purse is one of the first ministries on the scene – and probably the last to leave. They are already driving boats up and down the flooded streets this week. They’re assessing the situation and organizing a plan to take action. They’ll enlist volunteers from around the country. People use their vacation to volunteer with Samaritan’s Purse and help with clean-up. You might want to consider signing up to volunteer or you might want to give.[/vc_column_text][vc_btn title=”Find Out More About Samaritan’s Purse” color=”turquoise” align=”center” link=”url:https%3A%2F%2Fwww.samaritanspurse.org%2Farticle%2Frelief-units-rolling-texas-hurricane-harveys-punch%2F||target:%20_blank|”][vc_column_text]
Convoy of Hope
They already have semi trucks on the road, filled with groceries and needed supplies for Texas families. They have been doing incredible disaster response for the past 20+ years. They bring hope in every storm.[/vc_column_text][vc_btn title=”Find Out More About Convey of Hope” color=”turquoise” align=”center” link=”url:https%3A%2F%2Fwww.convoyofhope.org%2Fblog%2Ffeatures%2Fdisaster-response%2Fconvoy-hope-responds-hurricane-harvey%2F||target:%20_blank|”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_text_separator title=”In addition to financial donations, what else can you do?”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]In addition to financial donations, what else can you do?
- Austin Pets Alive is seeking families that can foster cats and large dogs. In addition to cash donations, the organization can also use in-kind donations like large plastic or metal bins with lids. Space for some items is limited so check with the organization first before you gather supplies. If you can help with fostering or in-kind donations, check out their website for details. (Vodka for Dog People, Tito’s Vodka pet cause program, is also donating $10K to Austin Pets Alive)
- The SPCA of Texas has also put out a call for foster homes to help care for the animals already in shelters and those coming from the Gulf Coast. You can sign up at www.spca.org/foster. The organization is also accepting financial donations and in-kind donations, including cat litter, litter boxes, towels, blankets, large wire crates, toys, treats, pet beds, newspaper and gas gift cards.
- Donations of blood are also needed. You can’t claim a tax deduction for giving blood but it sure is a terrific way to help. Find your nearest donation center by entering your zip code here.
- I know from past disasters that if you’re able to write a handwritten note or two and send to those who are on the front lines of these disasters including police and fire departments, schools, and churches to offer your good wishes, it is typically appreciated.