Want to help hurricane victims? Romeoville, Bolingbook point the way

Soldiers with the Texas Army National Guard move through flooded Houston streets as floodwaters from Hurricane Harvey continue to rise, Monday, August 28, 2017. More than 12,000 members of the Texas National Guard have been called out to support local authorities in response to the storm. (U.S. Army photo by 1st Lt. Zachary West)

As many look to provide aid for the victims of Hurricane Harvey, local officials help sort out the various avenues to make sure efforts are focused in the right direction.

The village of Romeoville urges residents to verify the validity of organizations and websites to avoid donation scams. Following are some organizations coordinating fundraising efforts:

FEMA provides a resource page that includes a list of opportunities to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey, including ways to donate through trusted organizations and providing other assistance. Check out www.fema.gov/hurricane-harvey.

The National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD), is a coalition of the major voluntary organizations in the U.S. that have prioritized disaster-related work. The organization’s website, www.nvoad.org, provides information for people looking to donate or volunteer.

The American Red Cross, a humanitarian organization that provides emergency assistance and disaster relief in times of crisis, is seeking donations to help victims of Harvey.

The organization is accepting donations via phone at 1-800-RED CROSS or text HARVEY to 90999 to make a $10 donation for those in need. Donations can also be made via www.redcross.org/donate/hurricane-harvey.

Locally, the Romeoville Humane Society is seeking foster families for pets displaced by Hurricane Harvey. Check out www.romeovillehumanesociety.com for more information on fostering pets.

After receiving an overwhelming number of inquiries from citizens and corporations who would like to help, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner has established the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund that will accept tax deductible flood relief donations. The fund is administered by the Greater Houston Community Foundation. Methods to Donate: Online Credit Card Donations: Visit www.ghcf.org. Online credit card donations will be assessed a small fee, typically 3 percent, by the credit card companies. Donors have the option of increasing their credit card donations to cover this fee. Checks/Money Orders: Mail to Greater Houston Community Foundation, 5120 Woodway Drive, Suite 6000, Houston, TX 77056.

The village of Bolingbrook encourages people to check websites for the most up to-date information as disaster recovery needs can change quickly, and also cautions on avoiding scams.

Best practices dictate that donating cash to a reputable disaster relief organization is the best way to assist immediately following a disaster and to make donations to trusted organizations.

Agencies are reporting not to donate via Facebook or Twitter and to donate instead to the American Red Cross. It also can be more daunting for relief organizations to handle material items and toiletries. The village of Bolingbrook provides the following resources for donations:

1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769)

Blood donations also are in need:

  • Lifesource, http://www.lifesource.org/; taking “special” donations locally for Harvey
  • AABB – (301) 907-6977
  • America’s Blood Centers; http://www.aabb.org/
  • American Red Cross – (800) 733-2767
  • Armed Services Blood Program – (703) 681-5979

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