Tuesday, August 29, 2017

How to Help Texas Hurricane Harvey Victims

Ironically, today I had a post scheduled highlighting some of the awesome people I met in Texas on the Why I Farm Roadtrip, and how small of a world the ag community can be. Late last night, I realized a different post would be more appropriate. Funny enough, this post covers some of the same topics, the people of Texas, and our close knit ag community. But, this post is much more sobering, and urgent.

If you've been watching the news, you've likely heard about the devastation Hurricane Harvey left in Texas. Lives lost, homes destroyed, crops flooded. Sitting in Iowa, it's frustrating to see the heart wrenching images, feeling like I can't do much to help.

Local authorities in the impacted areas are urging non-residents to keep out. Power and clean water must be restored before major clean up or rebuilding efforts can begin. But, there are still plenty of options for those of us at home looking to make a difference.

1. New Day Crisis Fund
For those of you who've had your lives changed by FFA, or are passionate about ag education, here's your chance to pay it forward. This fund, affiliated with the Texas FFA Foundation, will be used to help Texas FFA chapters and agricultural education programs rebuild.

2. Miller Family GoFundMe
Hannah Miller is an ag communicator I've looked up to for a long time. She's active in the community and generous in giving advice to the next generation of ag professionals. While her family survived when the hurricane hit her hometown of Rockport, their home, farm, and possessions did not. Friends have organized this fund to help the Miller family rebuild.

3. Feeding Texas
This network of Texas food banks is working together to make the greatest impact in the disaster area. While donations of food are accepted, financial contributions allow the food bank to purchase food that best fits the needs of the people they are serving. (And doesn't take money or manpower to pack, move, distribute from wherever you live.)

4. Eight Days of Hope
I've volunteered with this organization a couple of times and know of this team's great work personally. Right now they're collecting donations of tools and equipment like generators, box fans, extension cords and batteries at hubs across the country. Check out their Facebook page to see if there is a location near you. Or tax deductible, financial contributions can be made at their website. Note, they are not accepting donations of water or clothing at this time.

5. Your Local Animal Shelter
Check with your local animal shelter to see if there is an opportunity to foster pets displaced by Hurricane Harvey. This article is one example.

Finally, and most importantly, hold the people impacted by the storm up in prayer. The victims, the rescue crews, law enforcement, journalists, volunteers, and utility crews have been through so much, and have a long road ahead.

Thanks for reading.


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