How We Donated To Hurricane Harvey Relief Efforts

by Nick Taylor

We here at debated how to direct our small donation to Houston and coastal Texas in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.  Rescue-focused groups like Team Rubicon and the ad hoc volunteers from the Cajun Navy saved lives and gave comfort when the rising waters were filling city streets and neighborhoods. Then rescue gave way to the long, slow process of recovery, and we think that’s where our money can do the most good in the long run.

Cypress Creek, Texas, Army National Guard photo by Capt. Martha Nigrelle, Department of Defense

That challenged us. Which of the many charities that will help Texans in and around Houston rebuild their homes and lives should we choose?

There’s no one right answer.  Houston Rockets star James Harden

James Harden

Photo by James Allison, via Flickr, Creative Commons License

announced he would give $1 million to Mayor Sylvester Turner’s Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund being administered by the Greater Houston Community Foundation.  Rockets owner Leslie Alexander pledged $10 million.

This fund will spend its money primarily in Houston and Harris County, and it obviously knows local issues in a way that can guide its spending effectively.  NASA Map Hurricane Harvey

Image by NASA/JPL-Caltech/GSFC

But other parts of the Texas Gulf Coast also suffered major damage.  Beaumont, for example, lost its water system in Harvey-related flooding there.

We chose the United Way Relief Fund, with the thought that the United Way’s additional reach would help Houston’s neighbors and other areas along the coast as well.  We liked the choices we got when we went to its web page.  You could steer your donation to Harris or three adjoining counties or the one we chose: “Wherever it will do the most good.”  Actor Leonardo DiCaprio pledged a larger donation than ours, $1 million, to the United Way’s relief efforts.  

If you need to see the range of charities, ConsumerMojo listed charities and what they do here.


Texas National Guard, U.S. Air Force photo by/1st Lt. Zachary West

These reputable local and national charities, will help waterlogged Texans up and down the coast, and across the state line in Louisiana, as they work to rebuild their lives in the wake of Harvey’s devastation.