Organizing Hurricane Relief at School: Here’s a Quick Guide to Connecting With Key Organizations
With Superstorm Sandy still painfully fresh for many of us New Jerseyans, I’m sure that many of us can’t help but feel a special connection and empathy with the people of Texas and Florida. As NJ educators, many of you have seen (and are still seeing) the effects of disaster and displacement on thousands of Jersey students. It was a beautiful thing to see the outpouring of care that came after Sandy, not just from our immediate neighbors, but from strangers all across the country. If your faculty, club, parent-teacher organization or classroom is looking for ways to make a difference in the Harvey relief efforts, here’s a quick reference to get you started with some ways to connect with organizations that are organizing help:
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner has established the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund that will accept tax deductible flood relief donations for victims that have been affected by the recent floods. The fund will be housed at the Greater Houston Community Foundation.
The Center for Disaster Philanthropy has launched the CDP Hurricane Harvey & Hurricane Irma Recovery Fund to focus on medium- and long-term recovery needs that will arise in the weeks and months to come.
American Red Cross has deployed several hundred disaster workers to Texas and Florida and is actively managing numerous shelters for those displaced by the hurricane and associated flooding. The Red Cross is also working to pre-position supplies ahead of expected regional flooding.
Americares is working through partners in affected areas and prepare for coming flooding.
Direct Relief has made offers of Emergency Health Kits, which contain key medicines and supplies. Hurricane Prep Packs were also prepositioned throughout the area ahead of landfall.
HealthCare Ready has activated RX Open and is working with government agencies in the region to meet current and anticipated health needs.
Salvation Army has water, drinks, clean-up kits, shelter supplies and other items dispatched to locations throughout Texas and Florida.
Save the Children is working to distribute child-specific supplies to children, and will be establishing child-friendly spaces in shelters. Longer term goals include the restoration of child-care and education services, psychosocial support, and hosting children’s coordination working groups in affected areas.