As the U.S. continues to suffer from the effects of Hurricane Harvey’s path of destruction, many people are wondering how they can help by providing aid to those affected by the storm. The following quick roundup of ways to provide humanitarian assistance can help bridge the gap and assist those in need.
1. Payments Via Text
Several organizations, including the American Red Cross and United Way, are accepting donations via text, which makes donating quick and easy. To give a $10 donation to the Red Cross, text the word HARVEY to the number 90999.
To donate to United Way, text the word UWFLOOD to 41444. The organization will then reply with a link to complete a donation form, which can be paid via credit card. Similarly, Catholic Charities USA provides a way to text interest in donating by texting the word CCUSADISASTER to 71777. Individuals will then receive a link allowing them to donate funds via the nonprofit’s online portal.
2. PayPal Donations
To donate to the American Red Cross via the organization’s website you can give between $10 and $500 via the nonprofit’s online portal, which can be paid via credit card or PayPal. In addition, Americares is accepting donations via PayPal and credit card through its website, which also allows those donating to submit money via checking account information. Consumers can also visit the All Hands website to donate to that organization via PayPal or credit card.
3. Credit Card Giving
Most charitable organizations, including The Salvation Army and Catholic Charities USA, also accept payments online via credit card donations. Other organizations do as well, such as Austin Pets Alive!, which helps transport and provide shelter to animals affected by the storm. The SPCA of Texas is also accepting credit card-based donations for its work providing care to animals in the storm’s wake.
4. iTunes Donations
Apple is offering a unique way to provide assistance to those affected by the storm, giving consumers a way to donate to the American Red Cross directly from the iTunes program or via the iOS App Store. Those who visit these platforms will have the option to donate to the organization in increments of $5, $10, $25, $50, $100 and $200, TechCrunch reports.
Double Check Charity's Background
As with any charitable donation, you should ensure that the organization that you plan to give money to is reputable and well-monitored. “The Center for International Disaster Information recommends checking with a charity monitoring organization like GiveWell, Charity Navigator, Charity Watch or the Better Business Bureau before donating,” advises WLS-TV, Chicago’s ABC affiliate.
In addition, although it seems like the logical choice to send supplies to those in need, many organizations prefer money over physical goods, which take up space and can be hard to distribute. “While you may want to send food and other items, the infrastructure may not support those donations,” Forbes advises. “Many organizations have been clear that cash, or cash equivalent, is preferred.” When in doubt on what an organization would like to have on hand to help with relief efforts, contact that nonprofit directly.