Hurricane Harvey Fundraising and Card Drive

Send some sunshine to Hurricane Harvey victims and first responders!

Otis’ Story

First, you gotta see Otis. His picture is at right – and you can click on it to go read his story.

Ok now that that’s done with (isn’t Otis adorable!?)….you might know that I’m big on charitable giving. And our fellow citizens suffering the horrific flooding due to Hurricane Harvey need us! This page will be updated as I find more orgs that need support *and* any orgs to send cards to.

I’m also fundraising on THIS POST – for every comment by Friday Sept 1, I’m donating $5 to hurricane relief, so leave some love over there!

PLEASE SHARE this page with your friends and family…everyone can find a way to help!

Charitable Giving

Please know a few things about what’s best to give during disasters:

  • Money is best. It can be used to purchase items *right there* on the ground as needed. What’s needed most might be inglorious. Like portapotties. Who wants to buy a portapotty? Nobody. But cash to an org on the ground can help them get exactly what will help most.
  • Do NOT gather up your old stuff, or empty your closet or pencil drawer, or other random physical objects to mail to Texas. Honestly, they’re better off buying clothes so they know what they have rather than sorting through a truckload of items gathered at your church. If you DO want to get your community together, do things like:
    • Fund drives. Get creative in how your group can express its identity and share your values as you raise funds. And get on it quick! But don’t stop giving after the first part of the disaster; help is needed for years to come.
    • School supplies. Fill backpacks that have everything a kiddo needs. Don’t send loads of items that need to be sorted/assembled into kits for kids.
    • Hygiene kits. Toothpaste, toothbrushes, water purification tablets, etc. All in the same ratio of items in each packet – so whoever gets them knows exactly what’s in everything. Leave it in original packaging so no one worries about tampering.
    • No homemade foods. Unless you’re on the ground serving up meals, don’t send anything home cooked.
    • Partner with a church or “sister” community organization – ie find a church of your denomination and call to ask how you can help. If they tell you what to send, send that! Adopt that sister organization long-term and help them over the years as their needs change.
    • OR Find an NGO that’s asking for tangible things, they can best distribute them and give you instructions on how to package them to be most useful and the least work in ‘handling’t . And do it in the timing THEY say is best; some may not want tangible goods *yet* until the rescuing is done.
  • Did I say that money is best? Having worked at NGOs, I can tell you that will make the most impact FASTEST. Otherwise someone has to inventory incoming packages, sort, truck them out, etc.

Thanks to a bunch of folks gathering links on twitter and around the web, I’m reposting all I can find here. PLEASE choose a charity and give. Even $5 makes a difference. See below for card donations.

Gulf Coast Card Drive for first responders

These aren’t being collected to be mailed en masse….I’m just putting together some addresses and suggestions. If you have a suggestion to add to this list, leave a comment!

When sending cards to first responders…some tips:

  1. Send uplifting messages! Don’t tell them how awful it looks on the news. They know that.
    1. Thanks for supporting your community/country
    2. Be safe out there
    3. Praying for you (no proselytizing)
    4. Your wishes for them (dry socks and hot coffee, the joy in making a difference)
    5. A little about you if you wish (first name, hometown, fun fact)
    6. Jokes (yes, everyone could use a giggle!)
    7. Can address your note to Dear friend, Dear hero…or I go simple and start the note with “Hi there!”
  2. Card themes: Any general theme, or thank you/encouragement works. Patriotic is nice as they are service-oriented folks. But sunshine and flowers are great, anything funny, some masculine and some feminine. Something from the heart! The new stamp set HERE is awesome.
  3. Send drawings from your kids! Encourage them not to draw pictures of people drowning, even if that’s the thing that comes to mind. Have them draw pictures of people and pets being rescued, and tell them how old they are. Or just happy sunny pictures with big thank you messages. Kids can address their notes “to my hero.” No last names, keep those kiddos safe.
  4. Do NOT include gifts, snacks, inserts, tracts, etc. Just a card with a message in it. Don’t make it complicated for them to tack on a bulletin board to share with everyone.
  5. Expect no replies. This isn’t a penpal effort, just sending love and encouragement from across the nation.

Send to one of the addresses below, OR select a town name you hear mentioned on the news (the storm is moving, so Lousiana will soon be added to the list!) and google for “[TOWN NAME] Fire Department address” or “[TOWN NAME} Police Department address. I even looked for substations for Houston – but small towns likely only have one address.

  • Houston Fire Department HQ, 1801 Smith Street, 7th Floor, Houston, TX 77002
    • Houston Fire Stations (105 of them!) are listed HERE.
  • Houston Police Department Headquarters, 1200 Travis Street, Houston, TX 77002
    • Houston PD substations:
    • Houston Police Department 9455 W Montgomery Rd, Houston, TX 77088
    • Houston Police Department 6000 Teague Rd, Houston, TX 77041
    • Houston Police Department 8300 Mykawa Rd, Houston, TX 77033
    • Houston Police Department 7525 Sherman St, Houston, TX 77012
    • Houston Police Department 61 Riesner St, Houston, TX 77002
    • Houston Police Department 4503 Beechnut St, Houston, TX 77096
    • Houston Police Department 3203 S Dairy Ashford Rd, Houston, TX 77082
    • Houston Police Department 4363 W Fuqua St, Houston, TX 77045
    • Houston Police Department 3915 Rustic Woods Dr, Kingwood, TX 77339
    • Houston Police Department 3511 Reed Rd, Houston, TX 77051
    • Houston Police Department 8400 Long Point Rd, Houston, TX 77055
    • Houston Police Department 10966 North Fwy, Houston, TX 77037
    • Houston Police Department 7277 Regency Square Blvd, Houston, TX 77036
    • Houston Police Department 6719 W Montgomery Rd, Houston, TX 77091
    • Houston Police Department 9700 Bissonnet St #1740w, Houston, TX 77036
  • Rockport Volunteer Firefighters, 212 Gagon St, Rockport, TX 78382
  • Rockport Police Department, 714 E Concho St, Rockport, TX 78382
  • Victoria Police Department, 306 S Bridge St, Victoria, TX 77901
  • Victoria Fire Department, 606 E Goodwin Ave, Victoria, TX 77901
  • Port Lavaca Police Department, 201 N Colorado St, Port Lavaca, TX 77979
  • Port O’Connor Volunteer Fire Department, 101 6th St, Port O’Connor, TX 77982
  • U.S. Coast Guard Station Port O’Connor, 2333 Maple St, Port O’Connor, TX 77982
  • Beaumont Police Dept 255 College St, Beaumont, TX 77701
  • Beaumont Fire Dept
    • Station 1, 747 College St, Beaumont, TX 77701
    • Station 2, 4990 Helbig Rd, Beaumont, TX 77708
    • Station 3,805 Woodrow Ave, Beaumont, TX 77705
    • Station 4, w 77706, 1301 W Lucas Dr, Beaumont, TX 77706
    • Station 5, 6375 Walden Rd, Beaumont, TX 77707
    • Station 6, 1880 S Major Dr, Beaumont, TX 77707
    • Station 7, 1710 Mcfaddin Ave, Beaumont, TX 77701
    • Station 8, Lampman Dr, Beaumont, TX 77708
    • Station 9, 7010 Gladys Ave, Beaumont, TX 77706
    • Station 10, 3855 Washington Blvd, Beaumont, TX 77705
    • Station 11, 525 Royal St, Beaumont, TX 77701
    • Station 14, 8250 Old Voth Rd, Beaumont, TX 77708
  • FEMA Federal: 500 C Street S.W., Washington, D.C. 20472 (Director: Brock Long)
  • FEMA Texas: Federal Regional Center, 800 North Loop 288 Denton, TX 76201

COMING UP

I am reaching out to some of the organizations taking care of displaced flood victims to ask if we can send cards to encourage those who are suffering – let’s not do it until we know someone is ready to handle the mail, ok? I’ll update this post as I get more information, more organizations, or more addresses.

PLEASE SHARE! 

 

62 thoughts on “Hurricane Harvey Fundraising and Card Drive

  1. I donated a $100 to the global fund. I feel really good about that and I intend to send some cards to places listed above. Thanks for all the information you have provided for us. You know, when the information is all there in black and white, it makes it very easy to give. So again. Sandy, thanks for all the info.

  2. Thank you for this info & the tips, Sandy!!! We live a few hundred miles north of Houston, so a lot of evacuees are in this area. 🙁 I will definitely be sending encouragement cards to the first responders. Thank you for those addresses. Keep us posted on other ways we might help! 🙂 ~ Andrea

  3. Thanks for the information. I lived in Houston for 16 years (I thought it was 17) and still have many friends there. One of my husband’s teacher friends lost pretty much everything I would imagine. Last Sunday there was 4-5 foot of water from Braes Bayou at their door. Then, came the rain. I am not sure how others did let alone our house we lived in. I will be sending cards. I need to go get some dog food and related things that our town is sending down next week. Yes, money is very helpful!

  4. OWH organizational skills are still alive and functioning at top speed! Thank you for enabling our card group to send encouragement and prayers to all those good folks in need so easily. God love you, Sandy, for all the wonderful things you do!

  5. Thank you Sandy for the information and the caring. Cards and money are on the way to several on your list. I will share the information at the school where I taught. We always had the children send cards to military and to other children who needed encouragement and support.

  6. Shared on FB. I’ll start with your first pick Vets and Vets-both causes near and dear to my heart. Thank you so much for putting all this info in one place for us. Don’t see how your body manages to contain such a big heart. Blessings to you always.

    1. What do you think about asking local schools to have their kids make cards?

      1. Sure – just be sure to tell the teachers the guidelines so the kids don’t draw drowning people 😉

  7. Such a wonderful idea! You’re so generous

  8. I love your heart, Sandy! Definitely will be sending some cards out and will be waiting to hear if we can send some to victims… Hugs!

  9. Wonderful resources and a great cause. Thank you for sharing this information!

  10. This is so caring of you. I hope others respond as you have,

  11. This is such a caring thing to do. My wish is that there will be many people who donate.

  12. What a terrific idea sending cards to 1st Responders. I know they will appreciate it!! If you if you can’t donate money then consider giving blood, there is always a need it or become a Red Cross Volunteer and get trained to help when disasters occur.
    To help our furr babies, the Houston ASPCA is needing donations too.
    A big THANK YOU from Texas!!

  13. Great ideas! I’ve donated to a few of the places you’ve listed already. I’ll be sure to send a card or 12 to some of the addresses! Thanks for the addresses.

  14. Thanks Sandy for the helpful hints and suggestions. A great resource!

  15. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  16. great idea Sandy. I just put fronts on about 100 cards and have tons of embellishments to put on them. so many needs to be met there.

  17. Great idea to send cards. I have a suggestion for donations. 100% of money given to this organization goes to disaster relief. I knew the founders and I know the current director. Very reputable and effective organization. http://www.ides.org/

  18. Thank you so much, Sandy, for the inspiration and the incredibly helpful information. You have such a big heart! I am pledging to send at least 5 cards, a cash donation, and some diapers.

  19. Thanks Sandy. Love your big heart and appreciate that you provide info so we can participate with you. I assume you have seen Hero Arts fundraiser as well They are donating proceeds from Texas themed stamps. I know from OWH days you have partnered with them on fundraisers in the past. Hugs and good luck with all your kind actions.

  20. Well done Sandy! You are a blessing to us all. Thanks for putting all the info and tips in one place. I’m sending 3 cards tonight, more in the next few days. Financial donations to follow over the weekend.

  21. Wonderful idea! Thank you for your information.

  22. Thank you for the info and awesome!

  23. I think you are incredible! What a wonderful thing you are doing. It will be a pleasure to send all those first responders cards. They are true heros. Thanks for making it so easy

  24. Thank you for being so well informed and organized so that we’ll mesning people can truly be of real help – I will share your post!

  25. Thanks Sandy! I was a team leader for Katrina but my health can’t handle the lack of sleep this time. Making cards for the heros is a perfect project for me. Thanks for the addresses.

  26. Sandy,howdy from Pearland,Tx. Appreciate your efforts and helpful hints. My street is flooded,but have power and no water in the house,for which we are most thankful. Thanks to all who are responding to those who aren’t as fortunate.

  27. From middle of mitten Michigan! Praying for everyone all night n each day. This is absolutely a Wonderful site to help those of us out of site. God Bless. Jana W

  28. Love this! With the long weekend ahead I see some cards of encouragement being made. May I share this on my fb wall?

  29. Sandy, thank you for all the information and ways to help and support those in Texas. God Bless All impacted!

  30. great post–thanks for the positive ideas

  31. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Sandy, for sharing such valuable information! Witnessing your generosity during this most difficult time for Texas is truly beautiful. May God richly bless you!

  32. Wonderful Sandy. One of the loveliest and best and smart smartest ladies on the planet. I gave to Red Cross just now, seeing the film of people who’ve lost everything is just so awful. Seeing everyone pull together gives me hope. Jenny x

  33. You have a big heart. Thanks for the info. I will mail out 10 cards this week.

  34. Thank you for the information to help.

  35. Thank you for this information and on the encouragement to get involved. I will make and send at least 3 cards this week.

    Here’s one organization I just read about in the paper:

    Driscoll Children’s Hospital, which cares for Corpus Christi’s youngest and most ill patients, was directly in the path of Harvey. The hospital transported many of its patients out of harm’s way, but will likely will need funds to seamlessly continue operating its 189-bed pediatric facility.

    Donations can be made online at http://www.driscollchildrens.org.

    1. Thanks!! Just added it to the list.

  36. Thanks Sandy for doing this. Prayers for Texas.

  37. Sandy, you are always a “first responder”! Thank you for all of the information and addresses in one place. Texans in my prayers. I had already donated to Samaritan’s Purse Hurricane Harvey Team yesterday. So desperately needed!

  38. Sandy, great information to share on how to help. One of these days we will dry out in Texas.

  39. Money on the way. Thanks for the information .

  40. You are always great about responding to those in need. Thanks for all you do. Prayers for all affected.

  41. Sandy, thank you so much for putting all this information together. I will definitely be doing this. Praying praying praying for all the souls in the path of this awful storm.

  42. Prayers for all the families affected.

  43. Sandy, thanks for being our hero to take leadership for this worthwhile cause. I do appreciate all the information

  44. Praying for all the lives that have been affected, and to give strength to all those helping.

  45. Great ideas. Thanks for getting this started.

  46. thank you for posting! Very good information!

  47. We have family in Houston and are devastated by what’s happening. Thank you for providing good information for people that want to help!

  48. Thank you for all the information! I just finished a stack of cards so will be mailing them out tomorrow. Love the how to videos too!
    Lisa

  49. Thank you for these helpful hints and practical advice for those of us who haven’t been involved in disaster relief. God bless you, Sandy (and your furry family). I hope to send a few cards before I leave town this weekend.

  50. Sandy, thank you for this valuable information when responding to victims of an emergency. Your tips are to the point, and the list of addresses is so great to have. And I agree: bottom line is they need money!

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