How to help people, pets affected by Hurricane Harvey

Central Florida nonprofits, Red Cross, Coast Guard deployed to help

By Emilee Speck - Digital journalist
Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

Volunteers organize donated emergency supplies at the temporary shelter at the Lakewood Church August 29, 2017 in Houston, Texas.

HOUSTON - People and organizations are mobilizing to help the hundreds of thousands of people displaced in Texas by Hurricane Harvey. The storm continues to bring massive amounts of rain, which has created a dangerous situation in largely populated cities, like Houston.

Below are a list of secure donation sites and charities whose proceeds will go directly to people affected by the storm, many who have lost everything and have basic needs like shelter, clean clothes and food.

Donate money, supplies or volunteer your time

Central Florida Salvation Army locations spent Monday packing up supplies to drive to Texas.  The Salvation Army is raising money online for long-term relief efforts.

“Army disaster teams from across the country are mobilizing and, even after disaster response efforts are over, The Salvation Army will remain in communities impacted by this terrible storm, supporting long-term disaster recovery efforts and providing ongoing assistance to those in need,” according to a news release.

Other nonprofits in Central Florida are collecting donations to send to people affected by Harvey.

Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida is accepting nonperishable food items at its headquarters at 411 Mercy Drive. Second Harvest recommends monetary donations to the food bank network, Feeding Texas. The network is distributing family food boxes to food banks in the area directly affected by the storm. Feeding Texas posted a list of food banks in the direct path of Harvey.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Lake and Sumter counties are accepting donations of diapers, wipes, blankets, socks, shoes, cleaning supplies, feminine hygiene products, toiletries and bottled water to send to Texas.

These locations are accepting donations:

  • Teeter Club 610 S. 9th St Leesburg, FL 34748
  • Clermont Arts & Rec Center 3700 S. Hwy 27 Clermont, FL 34711
  • Lifepointe Church 3551 E Orange Ave Eustis, FL 32736
  • Spring Creek Club Spring Creek Charter School 44440 Spring Creek Rd Paisley, FL 32767
  • First Baptist Church of Lady Lake 432 CR 466 Lady Lake, FL 32159
  • Administrative Office 32634 Blossom Lane Leesburg, FL 34788

Goodwill Industries of Central Florida will donate all proceeds to the Greater Houston Community Foundation from its "Round-up' program in all retail stores during the next two weeks. Shoppers who round-up their purchases to the nearest dollar will be helping Hurricane Harvey victims, according to Goodwill.

Community Based Care of Central Florida is participating in the "I-4 to Texas" relief effort. The nonprofit is collecting bottled water, Gatorade, diapers, baby formula, toiletries, pet food, and canned foods through Sunday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., at Belle Isle City Hall at 1600 Nela Avenue.

United Way of Greater Houston has set up a relief fund to help provide basic needs to people displaced by Harvey. Donations can be made online at UnitedWayhouston.org. The organization is also seeking volunteers.

The American Red Cross has volunteers on the ground in Texas, operating shelters and bringing truck loads of supplies to people affected by the hurricane.

Donate to the Hurricane Harvey relief effort at redcross.org, by texting HARVEY to 90999 or calling 1-800-HELP-NOW (1-800-435-7669). Apple is also permitting donations to the Red Cross through iTunes and the App Store.

People who require emergency assistance because of Hurricane Harvey are asked to call 911 or the U.S. Coast Guard at 281-464-4851. Those not in harm’s way, but displaced by the storm, can call 1-800-REDCROSS or visit rdcrss.org/shelter to find shelters and food.

Donate blood, medical supplies

Americares, an emergency response organization, is accepting donations, reported the Houston Chronicle, and delivering emergency medical items to local clinics in Houston. Donate here.

OneBlood, the Orlando-based nonprofit blood center, sent nearly 300 units of blood to Texas Tuesday to help with emergency medical situations.

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The center is working with Blood Centers of America and America’s Blood Centers, but said they need more donors to keep the supply adequate in Central Florida, as well as give to disaster efforts.

“To ensure enough blood is available locally and for Texas, OneBlood is urging all eligible donors to donate blood as soon as possible. While all blood types are needed, there is an urgent call for O negative and O positive blood, as well as platelet and plasma donations,” according to a news release by OneBlood.

News 6 visited the OneBlood center located at 345 W. Michigan Street in Orlando Tuesday where staff said calls have been coming in with people wanting to donate. Ricky McNichols, an Orlando police officer, regularly donates plasma. He said he feels it is the responsibility of citizens to help.

“We're all everybody's brother and sister out here, the U.S. is one big family in my opinion,” McNichols said.

OneBlood takes donations seven days a week.

Help pets stranded by Harvey

Pet owners, who have no place to call home, also need to find shelter for their furry friends. Texas non-profit Austin Pets Alive! and SPCA of Texas are working to transport pets to shelters. Donate at spca.org/gift. Best Friends Animal Society has also deployed a disaster response team to rescue stranded animals.

Volunteers with Austin Pets Alive! have transported more than 235 animals to their shelter as of Saturday. The shelter needs funding for care and foster families for animals. Learn more about fostering here and see a list of supplies needed to care for the flood of pets.

Donations to the Best Friends Animal Society emergency response team can be made online at bestfriends.org and austinpetsalive.org.

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If you know of any Central Florida non-profits gathering supplies to send to Texas, email tips to web@wkmg.com.

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