On the evening of Friday, August 25 Hurricane Harvey made landfall along the Gulf Coast, devastating communities in Texas and Louisiana. Since then the nation has witnessed the very best of the American spirit, with first responders, Coast Guard and National Guard service members, and everyday Americans joining the effort to lend a helping hand.
As President Trump has said: “Americans have always come to the aid of their fellow countrymen – friend helping friend, neighbor helping neighbor, and stranger helping stranger…When we look across Texas and Louisiana, we see the American spirit of service embodied by countless men and women.”
CNCS stands shoulder to shoulder with the nation to ensure survivors have the support they need to get back in their homes and rebuild their communities. AmeriCorps and Senior Corps disaster teams from Texas and across the country are responding to Hurricane Harvey. These teams provide expert manpower, everything from volunteering coordination to donations management, sandbagging to shelter operations, and debris removal to home repairs.
We will keep this page updated as new developments unfold. If you would like to receive communications about AmeriCorps and Senior Corps response to Hurricane Harvey, or learn about future opportunities when needed, sign up below to receive our emails.
How to Help
Please be patient and do not self-deploy, as unexpectedly showing up to any of the communities that have been impacted by Hurricane Harvey will create an additional burden for first responders.
Find an organization that needs volunteers:
- If you wish to volunteer in response to Hurricane Harvey, please visit the Texas Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster website for a list of more than three dozen faith-based, community, nonprofit and non-governmental organizations that include volunteer engagement as a key component of their operations.
- To learn about opportunities with the American Red Cross visit our blog.
- The Small Business Administration is hiring temporary employees to assist with disaster relief efforts this hurricane season from September 1st to December 31st, 2017. Visit their webpage.
A financial contribution to a recognized disaster relief organization is the most effective donation to make. Public and private sector support of these voluntary organizations with financial contributions helps to ensure a steady flow of important services to residents who have been impacted by Hurricane Harvey. Unsolicited donated goods such as used clothing, miscellaneous household items, and mixed or perishable foodstuffs require helping agencies to redirect valuable resources away from providing services to sort, package, transport, warehouse, and distribute items that may not meet the needs of disaster survivors.
Why a cash contribution is the most effective and needed donation.
Allows voluntary organizations:
- to fund response and recovery efforts,
- to obtain goods and services locally lessening the need for warehouse space and putting money back in to stressed local economies, and
- to provide direct financial assistance to disaster survivors so they can meet their own needs
- to make a financial contribution to the voluntary organization of your choice.
Find an organization for your donation:
- If you need help selecting an organization to support, the Texas Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster website has a list of vetted disaster relief organizations that are providing services to affected residents. Texas VOAD represents more than three dozen faith-based, community, nonprofit and non-governmental organizations.
Here are some tips to help you make a donation and monitor when volunteers are needed.
CNCS coordinates locally to ensure all needs are identified from state, regional, and federal emergency partners, including FEMA and American Red Cross, and OneStar and Volunteer Louisiana, the Governor-appointed state service commissions responsible for implementing national service programs across Texas and Louisiana.
Although the need is great, and desire to help strong in times of disaster, it is important to avoid donating material goods or self-deploying to volunteer. The first priority is to make sure our communities are safe and public officials and disaster relief organizations have had an opportunity to assess the damage and identify what the specific needs are. Once that happens, it is the generous spirit of residents, nonprofits organizations, faith-based organizations, community-based organizations, private sector partners, and governmental agencies and partners working in a coordinated effort that will most effectively and efficiently help Texans recovery from Hurricane Harvey. Please continue to monitor this website for updated information.