Back in early April, Houston was ranked number one in overall philanthropic culture by nonprofit watchdog organization Charity Navigator, with our city receiving top marks for total philanthropic assets, percentage of income given to charity, and overall financial health of its largest charities. A few short weeks later, our city is getting another chance to show just how giving it is—by giving back to Houstonians affected by recent devastating flooding.
Houston companies and other private donors have given nearly $1.8 million dollars to the Greater Houston Storm Relief Fund to help victims of the April 18 "Tax Day" flood, which killed eight people and damaged 2,000 homes. Some of that money has been used to provide three weeks' worth of temporary housing in hotels for people who were displaced, mainly in the Greenspoint area, where hundreds of residents were stranded in flooded apartment complexes following the storm.
Mayor Turner announced today that the rest of the money will go toward nonprofits that meet basic needs like food and water, as well as damaged household items. The money will also be available to organizations that can provide rental assistance for victims who need to relocate and repairs for vehicles that have been damaged. United Way and Catholic Charities are already working with the city, but other nonprofits are encouraged to apply for the funds.
The largest donation to the fund came from the Houston Rockets, which gave $500,000. Houston companies Aramco Services, Hess Corporation and Gringos Mexican Kitchen and private donors Laura and John Arnold and the McNair Foundation each gave $100,000. The rest of the money was raised by average Houstonians looking to help out their neighbors, said the mayor's office said in a statement, with many small, private donations adding up to one big gift.