The storm is gone, but people are just beginning to put their lives back together.
Although media coverage has pivoted to Hurricane Irma, the devastation from Hurricane Harvey in Houston and the long road toward recovery is now coming into focus. Thousands not only lost their cars, homes, and belongings, they also lost security, hopes, and dreams for the future. While the storm may be over, the cleanup has only just begun and many are putting their lives back together from scratch.
We’ve already seen help arrive in both big and small ways. Chef Chris Shepherd turned his popular annual fundraiser Southern Smoke into an event to help Houston’s service industry workers impacted by the hurricane; one woman in Maryland was so moved by the story of a storm survivor who had come back to find her late mother’s antique tea cups broken that she tracked down three replacements on eBay to send to her.
Here are five ways you can help:
Donate to Baker Ripley’s Long-Term Disaster Recovery Fund
Community-focused nonprofit Baker Ripley has stepped in after initial emergency response workers to coordinate shelters and rebuild neighborhoods in Houston. You can donate to money towards their efforts here.
Drink a Harvey Wallbanger
Known as Houston’s King of Cocktails, bar owner Bobby Heugel has organized more than 500 bars across the country to serve Harvey Wallbangers (a concoction of vodka, lemon and orange juice, simple syrup, and herbal liqueur Galliano) to raise money for the Mayor of Houston’s hurricane relief managed by the Greater Houston Community Foundation
Help the Alley Theatre and Houston Ballet
Ten feet of water flooded the basement, dressing rooms, props storage, and electrical systems of Houston’s Alley Theatre, leaving it closed for the foreseeable future. The Houston Ballet has also rescheduled many of its holiday performances due to damage at the company’s venue, Center for Dance. You can donate to the theatre here and the ballet here.
Give to the Houston Food Bank
The country’s largest food bank is working to make sure those who were already struggling before the hurricane aren’t faced with an even bigger crisis. They plan to provide food for months to come during the rebuilding effort. You can donate to the food bank here. If you live in the area, you can sign up to volunteer or drop off needed materials.
Support Legacy Community Health
A next-door neighbor to Underbelly, Chef Chris Shepherd’s restaurant, the nonprofit and Shepherd are working together to help provide funds directly to those in the food and beverage industry and their suppliers that were affected. You can donate to Legacy Community Health here.