How to Make the Most of Your Harvey Donations [Updated]

And what's needed now.

By Sarah Rufca Nielsen August 29, 2017

The flood waters are starting to recede but those who lost homes or were otherwise displaced still need our help. Here's what you can do.

Bring Donations Where They're Needed.

As of Wednesday, the overwhelming response by Houstonians means that many previously stated donation needs have been met. However, there is still more to do. The best guide moving forward is a crowd-sourced donations map created by the programmers at Sketch City, which compiles what is needed at which shelters and is regularly updated. 

Deliver to the Right Spot

As of Tuesday evening, individual donation dropoffs have been moved to BBVA Compass Stadium, east of Highway 59. This will open up the GRB loading docks to accept large-scale donations.

Take Donations to a Neighborhood Dropoff

If you can't or don't want to make the trip downtown, many businesses and organizations are offering local donation dropoffs—check neighborhood groups on Facebook or NextDoor to see who is collecting and at what times.

Pack Them Properly

Donations can be more quickly distributed among those who need them if they are sorted, labelled and delivered in sealed, waterproof containers like plastic bags or bins. Volunteers report that some donations that arrived in cardboard boxes understandably suffered water damage. If you can gather shampoo, conditioner and soap into individual toiletry kit bags, they can be directly handed out rather than await someone to organize them.

Don't Forget Your Time and Your Money

These supplies are a godsend in the immediate aftermath of the storm, but Harvey is going to cast a long shadow. There are plenty of local organizations that will be leading the effort to get people back on their feet, so start donating time and money now, and make it a habit. 

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