Gov Malloy, State Food Bank Networks Recommend Charities for Texas Hurricane Relief

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Both Gov. Dannel Malloy and two Connecticut food bank networks have issued statements recommending reputable charities you can give to in order to make effective donations for relief from Hurricane Harvey (later downgraded to a tropical storm).

Included in the governor’s list are nearly all the same Texas food banks in a list suggested by the Connecticut food banks. Malloy’s statement was released Tuesday, the food bank networks released their statement Wednesday.

— See also: Donate to Help Hurricane Harvey Victims, But Pick Your Charity Carefully: How to Do Both (Tuesday, Aug. 29)

Here is the statement from the governor, followed by a joint statement from the Connecticut Food Bank and Foodshare, along with an announcement from the Feeding America website:

Malloy’s Statement

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy is advising Connecticut residents who are generously considering providing monetary donations to nonprofit organizations that are assisting with Hurricane Harvey response and recovery in the Texas area to take several steps of precaution in order to ensure that their charitable giving is being used in accordance with the intent in which it was given.

Hurricane Harvey National Guard photo Wikimedia Commons https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Louisiana_National_Guard_(36727929572).jpg

U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Garrett L. Dipuma (via Wikimedia Commons)

Helping hands: Louisiana National Guardsmen work around the clock to ensure that residents in danger of flooding from Tropical Storm Harvey are safe in Lake Charles, La., Aug. 28, 2017.

“Past experience has taught us that the best way we can help survivors in a disaster, particularly in the first days, is to donate funds to trusted charitable organizations that are often on the front lines working in close partnership with first responders,” Governor Malloy said.

“These funds will help those in need as the Houston region begins to recover.  We are grateful to these organizations and to the first responders for all the direct assistance they are providing to the people impacted by this storm.”

“Connecticut knows first-hand how important assistance and resources are during storm recovery,” Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman said.  “I urge residents to donate through these trusted sources so help gets to the people who need it the most.”

Catastrophic situations can unfortunately be opportunities for fraud.  Scam charities often solicit funds via email, telephone, and even pop-up ads on social media.  It is always important to do research on a charity before giving by visiting the organization’s website, calling to ask questions, and making sure they have the appropriate credentials in the states they operate.

Consumers are encouraged to donate to organizations they are familiar with in order to ensure their money is going to the best place possible.

“We urge everyone to remain vigilant when responding to requests to assist flood victims in Texas and Louisiana,” Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection Commissioner Dora Schriro said.

“Donors should exercise caution when responding to any email with a subject line, attachment, or hyperlink related to Hurricane Harvey, even if it appears to originate from a trusted source.”

Advice: Before Giving

Donors considering giving to those in need are encouraged to take the following precautions before transmitting funds:

  • Use caution when opening email attachments.
  • Do not log onto an unsolicited web link.
  • Keep antivirus and other computer software on your computer up-to-date.
  • Verify the authenticity of any email solicitation by contacting the organization directly through a bona fide contact number; the BBB National Charity Report Index is an excellent resource.
Reputable Organizations

The following is a list of some of the reputable organizations currently accepting donations for Hurricane Harvey.  Please note that this is not an exhaustive list of all charitable organizations providing assistance to those impacted by the storm:

CT 211

Online: https://uwc.211ct.org/hurricane-harvey

Red Cross

Online: http://redcross.org

Call: 1-800-RED CROSS

Text: HARVEY to 90999 to make a $10 donation

Americares (see below)

Online: http://www.americares.org

Call: 1-800-486‑HELP

United Way Houston

Online: http://www.unitedwayhouston.org/flood

Text: UWFLOOD to 41444

Food Banks in Hurricane Harvey-Impacted Areas

Additionally, a listing of organizations that have been vetted by FEMA can be found here.

Joint Statement from CT Food Bank Networks

Hurricane Harvey is causing unprecedented flooding in Texas. An estimated 30,000 people have sought shelter and unknown numbers are stranded by flooding and await help.

The national relief effort includes Feeding America. The leaders of Connecticut’s two regional food banks shared an update from Feeding America and spoke of the need to support food banks affected by the storm.

Feeding America staged food and emergency supplies in southern U.S. locations ahead of the storm. Feeding America network food banks in the region are delivering food, water and other supplies to communities devastated by Harvey’s winds and rains.

Feeding America is coordinating efforts with partners like FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) and the American Red Cross.

While some food banks in the region are responding to emergency needs, others are shuttered due to flooding.

“Food banks are part of the local response to emergencies, but they will need help long after the waters recede,” said Connecticut Food Bank CEO Bernie Beaudreau.

“The poor and the working poor are disproportionately affected by disasters. Their recovery will be measured in months and years and will mean increased demand on food banks struggling to rebuild their own operations in the wake of disaster.”

Foodshare President and CEO Jason Jakubowski said Feeding America has implemented its mutual aid plan with its network to support sharing of resources and expertise.

“We stand ready to help if needed.” Beaudreau noted that, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, he responded as CEO of the Rhode Island Community Food Bank to provide assistance in Louisiana.

“I spent nearly two weeks helping food banks in Louisiana meet the needs of badly damaged communities. When the call for help comes, we respond, and we take comfort in the fact that the help given will be welcomed and returned if needed.”

Jakubowski said that the public can help Texas food banks recover from the storm and meet ongoing needs by making a financial donation. “We are encouraging Connecticut residents to help their Texas neighbors.”

He said a Feeding America web page has links to the food banks affected by the storm. “When disaster strikes, what was a daily struggle for some becomes a crisis. The donations you make today can help for many days to come.

Connecticut Food Bank and Foodshare are Connecticut’s two regional food banks. Both are members of the national Feeding America network. Connecticut Food Bank serves Fairfield, Litchfield, Middlesex, New Haven, New London, and Windham Counties. Foodshare serves Hartford and Tolland Counties.

Last year, Connecticut Food Bank and Foodshare distributed enough food to provide more than 31 million meals through a network of nearly 1,000 local hunger-relief programs including food pantries, shelters, and community kitchens. For more information, visit www.ctfoodbank.org and www.foodshare.org.

Excerpt from Feeding America Announcement

[The full statement can be found here.]

What We’re Doing

When disaster strikes, the Feeding America network is on the ground and ready to deliver food and emergency supplies to help people cope in the aftermath.

Feeding America staged food and disaster supplies in locations throughout the South in the days prior to the storm. As the harsh weather continues to batter southeast Texas, Feeding America food banks are delivering food, water, cleaning supplies and other essentials to communities devastated by the storm.

At the national level, Feeding America is conducting ongoing monitoring of the situation on-the-ground and coordinating efforts with disaster partners including the American Red Cross and FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency).

How You Can Help

Give to Feeding America to make a big impact. The Feeding America network is actively working to help support families facing disaster relief and recovery in situations like the hurricane and flooding in Texas. Donate to Feeding America’s nationwide operations now ›

There are five Feeding America food banks located in the affected area that need your help. Please consider making a monetary donation to these food banks who are on the front lines of the disaster relief:

Feeding Texas is helping to coordinate efforts

UPDATE:

Americares to Ring Stock Exchage Closing Bell

An announcement from Stamford-based Americares:

Americares will ring the New York Stock Exchange Closing Bell tomorrow, Thursday, Aug. 31, to bring attention to Hurricane Harvey relief efforts and the need to support families affected by the storm. Michael J. Nyenhuis, president and CEO of the health-focused relief and development organization, will ring The Closing Bell.

“Americares is honored to ring The Closing Bell to raise awareness of the need to support Hurricane Harvey survivors,” said Nyenhuis.

“Many of the Texans forced to flee their homes are at risk for serious health issues. We are responding to urgent requests for medicine, supplies and medical equipment for evacuees, including those with high blood pressure, diabetes and other chronic health conditions. Americares is meeting survivors’ immediate needs and will be there to help in the months ahead.”

Americares is delivering medicine and relief supplies to emergency shelters and supporting health facilities serving low-income and uninsured patients in affected areas.

An Americares emergency response team arrived in Texas on Friday just before the hurricane made landfall and immediately began working with federal and state agencies, local organizations and partner health clinics to meet urgent health needs.

To date, Americares has sent several shipments of chronic disease medicines for people with diabetes, asthma and hypertension. Shipments also include wheelchairs, walkers, first aid supplies, several truckloads of bottled water and tetanus vaccines to protect first responders and residents cleaning up the damage.

Many of the supplies are for evacuees sheltering at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, where more than 9,000 survivors are seeking safety from Hurricane Harvey’s flood waters.

Americares, which has relief workers on the ground in Houston and San Antonio, anticipates more shipments to emergency shelters and health facilities in the coming days.

Americares has professional relief workers ready to respond to disasters at a moment’s notice and stocks emergency medicine and supplies in its warehouses in the U.S., Europe and India that can be delivered quickly in times of crisis.

The organization responds to an average of 30 natural disasters and humanitarian crises worldwide each year, establishes long-term recovery projects and brings disaster preparedness programs to vulnerable communities. Americares has a long history of responding to severe storms in the United States, including Hurricane Ike in 2008 and Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Donations to the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund will support Americares response to the storm. To make a donation, please go to americares.org/Harvey

About Americares

Americares is a health-focused relief and development organization that responds to people affected by poverty or disaster with life-changing health programs, medicine and medical supplies.

Each year, Americares reaches more than 90 countries and all 50 U.S. states with over $600 million in innovative health programs and quality medical aid.

Americares is the world’s leading nonprofit provider of donated medicine and medical supplies. For more information, visit americares.org.