EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Following the storm dubbed Harvey that ravaged the area of Houston, Texas, starting on Saturday, August 26 (with parts of Louisiana soon to follow), people across Southern New England and the entire United States have expressed a strong interest in lending their efforts and helping victims who have lost, or had destroyed, the trappings of their lives that we all take for granted — their home, their clothes, items of sentimental value. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has estimated 450,000 people will apply for disaster assistance.
This page will be continually updated to list the multiple organizations, donation drives and activities taking place in the coming weeks and months where you can lend a hand.
DONATE WITH WPRI 12 AND NEXSTAR MEDIA
WPRI 12 is one of 170 stations of Nexstar Media urging local communities to support hurricane relief efforts. You can join the company’s fundraising efforts by donating through their page at the Red Cross website. You may choose to specifically support disaster relief or earmark your donation to go wherever it is needed most.
TEXT YOUR DONATION
The easiest way to donate $10 to the Red Cross is by sending a text message. Text the message “REDCROSS” to 90999. The $10 will be added to your monthly cell phone bill. The money will go toward Red Cross recovery efforts.
THE RED CROSS IN RHODE ISLAND
The Rhode Island chapter of the American Red Cross has sent ten volunteers to the Houston area already to help with Harvey disaster relief. But people interested in becoming volunteers have been flooding into the organization’s system — not just in Rhode Island, where people are signing up about 10 people per hour — but nationwide. Volunteers will undergo a great deal of training — the most pressing need is filling spots left vacant because workers went down to Texas. For information about volunteering, go to the Rhode Island Red Cross’s website.
BLOOD DONATIONS NEEDED
Rhode Island Blood Center
The Rhode Island Blood Center sent more than 300 blood donations it had on hand to fulfill requests from blood centers in southeast Texas and Louisiana. Now, the local center is calling for additional donors to replenish the stock. The center will be holding multiple blood drives around the area in coming weeks, but you can also set up an appointment at a dedicated blood donation center. Go to the RIBC’s website to find a center or view all the upcoming blood drives. All blood types are needed, but especially type O positive and negative blood types.
The Red Cross in Massachusetts
The Massachusetts chapter of the American Red Cross will be collecting blood donations in southeastern Massachusetts and Cape Cod throughout the month of September, on many different days of the week. Go to their web site and enter your zip code to find a drive near you, or find out how to volunteer in your area.
HOUSTON’S CITY RELIEF FUND
The city of Houston has established a Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund through its Greater Houston Community Foundation. Donations can be made online at the foundation’s website, checks or money orders can be sent to Greater Houston Community Foundation, 5120 Woodway Drive, Suite 6000, Houston, TX 77056.
“The generosity of people who understand this disaster is truly amazing,” Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said in announcing the fund this week.
TOILETRIES, CLEANING SUPPLIES, DIAPERS
Texas officials have stressed the need for these items, so the city of Providence will be collecting them in new condition, along with non-perishable foods, baby formula, new clothing and blankets at Providence City Hall (25 Dorrance Street, Room 101, Mayor’s Center for City Services; open 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.) and the Providence Public Safety Complex (325 Washington Street; open 24/7, residents are required to buzz in after 3 p.m.). All donations should be dropped off by Friday, Sept. 8.
Return to this page as the list of entries grows in the days ahead.