Ways to Help Houston

Wed, 08/30/2017 - 7:55pm -- judyzimola

Bay area residents are no strangers to natural disasters. Our prayers go out to those coping with Hurricane Harvey and its devastating aftermath. If you would like to help, here's a roundup of organizations to which you can contribute:

The URJ Greene Family Camp is providing housing, meals, and programming for an indefinite amount of time.

Nechama, a Jewish Response to Disaster

Jewish Federation of North America Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund

Coalition for the Homeless of Houston/Harris County

This link will take you directly to an online Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund donation form for the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston.

Gift cards are an excellent way to donate. The primary request from Houston-area congregational leadership is for physical gift cards (not electronic versions) to stores such as Target, Walmart, Home Depot, and Lowe’s, as well as the major grocery stores in the area: Kroger and H-E-B.

Rabbi David Lyon of Congregation Beth Israel (the largest congregation in the area, and one with the greatest needs) notes: “Congregation Beth Israel will be assisting hundreds and hundreds of families in coming days and weeks. They'll need gift cards to assist in meeting immediate needs and expenses for replenishing clothing, toiletries, household items, school supplies for children, etc. Hurt has no shame and no label; we just need to heal one another.”

You may send gift cards to any Houston-area congregation, who will distribute them based on need:
o Congregation Beth Israel, 5600 N. Braeswood Blvd., Houston, TX 77096
o Congregation Emanu El, 1500 Sunset Blvd., Houston, TX77005
o Congregation Beth Shalom of the Woodlands, 5125 Shadowbend Place, The Woodlands, TX 77381
o Temple Sinai, 13875 Brimhurst Drive, Houston, TX 77077
o Houston Congregation for Reform Judaism, 801 Berning Drive, Houston, TX 77057
o Temple Emanuel, 1120 Broadway, Beaumont, TX 77701

Charity Navigator lists Food Bank of Corpus Christi, Houston Food Bank, and the Houston SPCA as highly-rated organizations where donations go directly to help victims of Hurricane Harvey.

As the storms abate and other organizations are able to fully mobilize, we'll update this list for ways and places to help.