“How can I help?” Hurricane Harvey is wreaking havoc on Texas and parts of Louisiana right now. Harvey arrived in Texas as a Category 4 hurricane, with deadly force and several months’ worth of rainfall. The rain has concentrated along the Texas coastline in and near Corpus Christi, Rockport, Aransas Pass, and Houston, the fourth largest city in the United States. It’s hard to watch, yet difficult to look away. More than anything, Austinites want to know how to help.
It’s still raining. The situation is dire; but the response has been outstanding. Harvey and its aftermath have attracted national and worldwide concern. The outpouring of rescue and relief efforts is inspiring. However, unless you have a boat and rescue expertise, please do not travel to the affected areas. Odds are good that you’ll endanger yourself and become a strain on the already overwhelmed rescue and relief resources there. Once the water and imminent danger have subsided, there will be on-the-spot opportunities for hands-on help. If you do have a boat and rescue experience, you might consider joining the Cajun Navy.
For now, Austin businesses are providing ways to help out right here in our city. Austin loves to give and care for those in need. We want to consolidate Austin listings for ease of access. Please list events and efforts in the comments, if you do not see the information listed in this article. Check back to find events near you.
Eating for Harvey Relief
Shawarma Point is donating 100 percent of proceeds from now through September 1 to the American Red Cross fund for Harvey victims. More info
Thai Fresh is hosting an all-day benefit on Tuesday, September 5. They’ll be donating 100 percent of proceeds from the day, as well as holding a cash donation drive for relief organizations. More info
Pinthouse Pizza is holding a fundraiser on Tuesday, September 5, donating all funds from a craft brewery silent auction, all sales from Pinthouse Man O’ War IPA, and 25 percent of total sales from the day. Website
Drinking for Harvey Relief
Dunlap ATX is holding a blanket/diaper/supply drive. Items will be taken to Houston. The business is partnering with ATX United soccer team for the diaper drive, donating a percentage of proceeds to relief organizations, and participating in the Tito’s fundraiser (held at bars across the city; $1 from every Tito’s drink sold goes to relief efforts, details TBA). More info
Lazarus Brewing – Through Sunday, September 3, bring in a donation and get $1 off every beer. You can also donate cash to Red Cross (donations matched up to $1,000 total). “Biggest needs are non-perishable foods, baby formula, diapers, travel sized toiletries. Towels, linens, and blankets, are also helpful…” Website
Entertainment for Harvey Relief
As soon as he saw what was happening, Austin favorite, Guy Forsyth, changed his already-scheduled concert into a benefit, committing to donate the money from the show to the Red Cross fund for Harvey relief. Another generous and prolific Austin musician, Carolyn Wonderland, has joined the benefit roster. I expect the list of Austin musicians to grow from there. It will be an incredible show to help out our fellow Texans. Tickets
Austin Bat Cave, a literacy organization, will donate all ticket sales from their September 12 Story Department: Reply All reading event at Home Slice Pizza. The event is adults only and tickets are $10 at the door.
Pets and Such
Austin Pets Alive! and Austin Animal Center have been taking in animals from shelters in affected areas since early in the week. In addition to placing animals through temporary fostering, they have been fundraising and taking in needed items. Austin Pets Alive! has no small dogs or puppies left that need fostering, but does still have 61 larger dogs that need adult-only homes with little traffic (no other animals or children, no really active households). There are also cat foster needs for kitties with ringworm or Feline Leukemia. Top items they currently need include liquid laundry soap; leashes and martingale collars (all sizes), cat litter, and funding. They’re quickly running out of space, so financial donations are hugely helpful. Additional items and information can be found on the website. They have reached max capacity for blankets, food, and similar donations, but financial assistance is welcomed. More info
Puppy Mill Free Texas has a pinned post of all of the animal rescue organizations in our area that are collecting pet food, supplies, and/or donations for animals being rescued and shelters that are taking in displaced animals. More info
AustinTexas.gov has added a website for lost and found pets, for people looking to reconnect with pets lost in the floods. More info
Austin Lost and Found Facebook page also has a wealth of information on connecting people and their lost pets, as well as information on what to do if you find a pet. You have to join the group in order to post, but they are hyper-responsive and helpful. More info
Please Add to This List
This is not a comprehensive list, but we wanted to start a consolidated list to help get the word out. Please consider supporting these local businesses as you plan your outings. Every hour we are seeing more Austin benefits and supply drives popping up on Facebook and Instagram. There is a Reddit thread here. Again, please share your events in the comment section of this article. Thanks for your kind heart, Austin, and thanks to all of these fantastic local businesses for giving back. We are and will remain #TexasStrong.
@theAustinot wants to know:
What other Austin businesses and organizations are joining the Hurricane Harvey relief efforts?