The Red Cross is thankful for the outpouring of support for people impacted by Hurricane Harvey. We know Americans are generous and want to do everything they can to help after a disaster. The best way to help disaster victims is with a financial donation that can be accessed quickly to support those affected, and be put to use right away. With a financial donation, individuals can buy what they need and want.
Learn how you can make the biggest impact.
Unfortunately, collecting and sending food, clothing and other household items often does more harm than good. It takes time and money to store, sort, clean and distribute donated items, which diverts limited time and resources away from helping those most affected
Storing donated items can also result in thousands of dollars in warehousing, cleaning, transportation and handling fees – whereas financial donations allow us to be flexible to give those directly affected by Harvey what they need most. Unfortunately, some well-intentioned donations of clothing or other items may be inadvertently soiled or dirty, which can cause illness. Financial donations don’t pose any health risks and can be used right away to replace items like medications and reading glasses.
Before collecting or dropping off donations of food, clothing or household items, please call to see if these items are needed. On some occasions, the Red Cross will accept donations, except for homemade food, at our shelters. For the safety of all shelter residents, home-cooked food is not allowed. The Red Cross cannot ensure the safety of food prepared in a non-commercial setting. Donations of unexpired, non-perishable food in original containers will be made immediately available to our shelter residents, but a large influx may not be helpful at the shelter as storage space is limited. Local food pantries are better equipped to handle food distribution after residents have been allowed to return home.
Another option is to help people impacted by the storm through Amazon’s Wish List program. Amazon customers can visit smile.amazon.com/redcross to purchase in-kind supplies, like gloves, first-aid kits and pillows to help people in need. Items purchased through Amazon’s Wish List will be sent to a Red Cross warehouse so that the item can be used to help those impacted by Hurricane Harvey.
You can donate online to help people affected by Hurricane Harvey by visiting redcross.org/Harvey or call 1-800-RED CROSS.