The healthcare professional's guide to giving: 35 ways to help Texans recover from Harvey

Hurricane Harvey is now estimated to be the second-costliest natural disaster in U.S. history. Here's how you can help Texas residents and care teams directly or from afar. 

If you have suggestions or additions to this list, please contact mgamble@beckershealthcare.com.

How to give time and medical aid or support Texas care teams from afar

Victims of Hurricane Harvey are in dire need of quick and easy access to professional medical aid. For physicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals who want to donate their clinical skills to help those suffering, consider the following organizations. 

1. American Red Cross. The Red Cross needs health and mental health professionals to support Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. Click here for more information.

2. Remote Area Medical. The organization is currently looking for volunteers, including physicians, nurses, emergency medical technicians and paramedics, among others, to help victims of Hurricane Harvey. Click here for more information.

3. Heart to Heart International. The organization has a disaster response team and mobile medical unit deployed on the ground in Texas. The teams have been treating minor injuries. It is also working with local partners to identify areas with the most need for medical support. Click here for more information.

4. Fastaff Travel Nursing. A nurse staffing agency, Fastaff is filling immediate openings in Texas. The Texas Board of Nursing is also offering expedited temporary licenses to nurses responding to Hurricane Harvey, and Fastaff will reimburse the cost. Click here for more information.

5. Texas Disaster Volunteer Registry. The registry allows health professionals to sign up as responders. The registration system collects basic information and connects health professionals to participating organizations.

6. California Medical Association Foundation. The charitable arm of the California Medical Association, CMAF is raising money to help physicians and their families affected by the storm. Donations can be made here.

7. Texas Medical Association. TMA is collecting funds to help physicians reestablish their practices in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. Funds will go to relocating or refurbishing physician office equipment, patient records and helping staff. Donations can be made here.

8. Texas Hospital Association. THA has a hospital employee assistance fund to provide relief for hospital workers who have suffered property loss or damage. Funds are distributed to hospitals based on the need identified and those hospitals can then distribute funds among qualified employees. Donate here.

9. Texas Association of Community Health Centers. This nonprofit association represents Texas' safety net healthcare providers. To donate to its members affected by Harvey, click here — the link to do so on PayPal is at the top of the page.   

How to give medical supplies

Several national and regional organizations are accepting medical supplies and monetary donations to distribute medical equipment in Texas and Louisiana. Organizations are listed with information regarding requested supplies, online donation portals and contact information.

1. Americares is a national organization providing medical outreach in Texas by helping healthcare providers prepare for the storm, respond to the storm and recover from the storm by helping rebuild hospitals and clinics in areas of need. Americares is accepting monetary donations for Hurricane Harvey response through an online portal. Access Americares' portal here.

2. Direct Relief is a Goleta, Calif.-based nonprofit distributing medical supplies and medicine to Texas. The organization made available its entire inventory of medical supplies worth more than $100 million for Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. Direct Relief is accepting monetary donations and vehicle donations. Access Direct Relief's portal here and more information about vehicle donations here.

3. Global Giving, a crowdfunding site, aims to raise $5 million to provide individuals affected by Hurricane Harvey emergency supplies, including medicine, in addition to long-term recovery assistance. To access the site, click here.

4. Portlight, a Charleston, S.C.-based disaster response nonprofit serving disabled populations, is seeking monetary donations to provide emergency assistance and medical supplies to disabled individuals affected by Hurricane Harvey. Access Portlight's online portal here.

5. Little Lobbyists, a Silver Spring, Md.-based advocacy group for children with complex medical needs, is working in partnership with Trach Mommas and several other groups to collect unopened, unused and unexpired medical supplies. Those in the Washington, D.C., area can drop off supplies at the Little Lobbyist headquarters in Maryland (email contact@littlelobbyists.org for details) or the Trach Mommas Louisiana site (see below).

6. Trach Mommas, is a Baton Rouge, La.-based nonprofit distributing medical supplies to children with a tracheostomy, those who are immunocompromised, technology dependent or require medically complex care. Monetary donations can be made via PayPal to support@trachmommas.org and www.trachmommas.org. Medical supplies can be shipped to:

Trach Mommas of Louisiana
11725 Industrialplex Blvd Suite 3
Baton Rouge, LA 70809

Trach Mommas is accepting all home-care medical supplies including but not limited to:

Feeding tube extensions, tracheal T-tubes, sterile Q-Tips, split gauze (drain sponges), bed pads, diapers of all sizes, nebulizers, oxygen concentrators, suction feeding suctions, food pumps, cough assistance-materials, portable IV poles, air purifiers and diabetic supplies. Supplies should be packaged in split-top plastic bins.

7. YWCA Greater Austin is offering free support groups and crisis counseling for Harvey survivors. Cash donations are helpful — $10 allows a person in crisis to join a group therapy session; $25 helps a displaced person, couple or family access crisis counseling sessions. Volunteers are also needed; those interested in volunteering can contact Volunteer and Training Institute Coordinator Haleigh Campbell at 512-326-1222, extension 113.

8. Support the Girls, a Wheaton, Md.-based organization that distributes feminine hygiene products to homeless women nationwide, is collecting pads and tampons for its affiliates in Dallas, Austin and San Antonio, which are receiving tens of thousands of evacuees. Feminine hygiene products can be shipped to:

Support the Girls
c/o Grace Whitley
PO Box 581
Wylie, TX 75098

9. The Texas Diaper Bank is seeking diapers for adults and babies, pull-ups, formula and wipes. Find more information about how to donate diapers here or donate funds to support Texas Diaper Bank here.  

How to give blood

Hospitals are especially in need of O negative and O positive donations, but people with all blood types are encouraged to donate.

1. The South Texas Blood & Tissue Center is accepting blood donations for Harvey victims. Call 210-731-5590 to schedule an appointment, or find a nearby blood drive or schedule an appointment by clicking here. STBTC has seven blood donor rooms — five in San Antonio, one in New Braunfels and one in Victoria. STBC said donor rooms are at capacity through Sept. 5. Updated links to the donor rooms are available here.

2. Carter BloodCare has locations throughout Texas. Call 1-800-366-2834 or click here for information on donor eligibility or to schedule an appointment. Potential donors may also text DONATE4LIFE to 444-999.

3. In Tyler, Texas, at least three blood drives are scheduled on Carter BloodCare buses:

  • Tyler Junior College will host a blood drive from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 1 at 1400 East 5th St. Call 903- 510-2611 for more information.
  • Best Buy will host a blood drive from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sept. 2 at 5514 S. Broadway Ave. Call 903-509-0690 for more information.
  • New Life Worship Center will host a blood drive from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 10 at 18535 US Highway 69 South. Call 903-871-8700 for more information.

4. In Austin, blood donors donating Friday can travel to and from their appointments for free via Fasten, a ride-hailing start-up.

5. AABB is encouraging people to donate blood in the wake of Harvey. Donors with O-positive blood are especially needed. Call 301-907-6977 to find a local blood drive or to schedule an appointment.

6. Those who do not live in Texas but want to donate blood can contact these organizations to find a local blood drive or schedule an appointment:

7. The Oklahoma Blood Institute put out a call for Americans to donate blood for Harvey victims. As of earlier this week, the institute already sent 300 units of blood and 25 units of platelets to Harvey-affected areas and aims to provide 400 more units this week. Donors may schedule an appointment by calling 877-340-8777 or booking online. Find the institute's donor center locations and contact information here.

8. United Blood Services has called for donations in the wake of Harvey. Contact information for regional headquarters is available here. Information on scheduling an appointment is available here.

9. LifeSouth, which has donor centers in Georgia, Alabama and Florida, is providing blood to Texans affected by Harvey. Click here to find a donation site. For more information, call LifeSouth at 888-795-2707.

How to give — in other ways

Can't donate expertise, supplies or time, but still want to help out? Consider donating resources to the following causes or groups.

1. Airbnb is tapping its residential hosts in Houston, Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, Corpus Christi, central and east Texas, Louisiana and southeast Texas to connect them with evacuees. Airbnb is waiving all service fees for those affected by disaster and checking in between Aug. 23 and Sept. 25.

2. GoFundMe has a page with all its Harvey-related fundraisers. The website also offers an option to donate to the Direct Impact Fund, which will go to verified GoFundMe campaigns.

3. AARP Foundation's Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund is collecting funds to aid victims ages 50 and older. The AARP and AARP Foundation will match contributions up to $1.5 million. Donate here.

4. Houston is in need of translators — the need is greatest for medical translation and Asian language. Per Mayor Steve Adler’s website, translators can sign up here to offer their services.

5. Central Texas Food Bank, the largest hunger relief nonprofit in Central Texas, is asking for monetary donations to support "disaster boxes," which will contain easy-use food items for those affected by the storm. Cash donations allow the food bank to more efficiently distribute boxes to those in need. If it is easier to give time, consider organizing a food drive or volunteering. Phone: 512/282-2111.

6. Feeding Texas is also collecting monetary donations to better aid impacted families. Through local outposts, statewide Feeding Texas is already providing food boxes, shelter meals, and cleaning supplies where needed. Donate here, or contact Celia Cole at ccole@feedingtexas.org for in-kind donations.

7. Houston Food Bank is seeking donations to provide nutritious meals for those affected by the storm — $75 provides 225 meals, $500 provides 1,500.

8. Send Relief, the umbrella organization for Southern Baptist Disaster Relief, is mobilizing thousands of volunteers to aid in shelters, feeding kitchens and restoring homes. Those who wish to support its long-term relief effort can donate online at namb.net/Harvey or text SENDRELIEF to 41444.

9. Still looking for a cause you're best suited to support? Charity Navigator has a list of all charities supporting relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. The Charity Navigator team analyzes nonprofit financial documents, publishes relevant information on charities and rates them with a number-based system.

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