Houston Chronicle Sunday
Nonprofits help those in need, those who want to help
We’ve had millions without power, hundreds getting sick from carbon monoxide poisoning and untold numbers dealing with frozen or busted pipes.
Amid all of that wintry devastation, there are many people in need or — on the flip side — stepping up to help others.
A simple way to find help — or to help others — is to search social media. There’s a “Community Help” page on Facebook where many people post questions, search for lost pets and offer help and ideas.
Brooke Parkinson, director of Volunteer Houston, said volunteerhou.org is a great place to figure out where to start. If you want to donate time, money or goods, you can search for organizations in need.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
VOLUNTEER OR DONATE
American Red Cross: This national aid organization offers help during many natural disasters. It has shelters and warming centers at various sites in Houston. To donate to the Houston chapter, go to redcross.org/local/texas/ gulf-coast.
Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center: The supply of available blood is low and this blood-donation center is operating on a limited basis because of severe weather conditions. To search for a site for donating blood, go to giveblood.org.
Volunteer Houston: This nonprofit is a clearinghouse for hundreds of other agencies looking for volunteers and donations throughout Greater Houston. For information, go to volunteerhou.org. You can search by topic, keyword, cause or other filters. And if you’re worried about going out, there are ways to volunteer virtually.
Houston Food Bank: The food bank uses hundreds of volunteers each week in shifts for product sorting and box packing. A spokesperson said that while the facility has been open for distributions all week, it has not used volunteers. The food bank needs nonperishables such as peanut butter, canned proteins, protein bars and other things that don’t require cooking. Register for volunteer work or make a donation at houstonfoodbank.org or call 713-547-8604.
Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston: This multiservice agency administers Volunteer Houston, Meals on Wheels/ Animeals, offers refugee services and promotes interfaith and community partnerships, so it has many opportunities for people wanting to help those in need. Right now, pet food for its Animeals program is in short supply. To donate, order pet food on any website and have it shipped to Animeals c/o Interfaith Ministries, 3215 San Jacinto, Houston, TX 77004. For future volunteer opportunities, go to imgh.org.
CrowdSource Rescue: This grassroots organization launched as a neighbors-helping-neighbors effort after Hurricane Harvey is still at it. In addition to delivering food bank parcels to those in need, it’s now working to help homeowners who do not have power and to transport seniors to hotels during the freeze. To help, go to crowdsourcerescue.com.
Salvation Army: Offers a variety of services from disaster relief to homeless shelters, food pantries, job training and rehab. salvationarmyusa.org
Houston Area Women’s Center: Shelter and support services for victims of domestic violence. 713-528-2121 or hawc.org/
Star of Hope: The Star of Hope homeless shelter welcomes donations of toiletries such as lotion, shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste and hairbrushes, plus diapers (size 0) and pull-up diapers (size 4T and 5T), underwear for men and women (all sizes), towels and washcloths, twin-size sheets and blankets. For other donation information, go to sohmission.org.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255 for English and 888-628-9454 for Spanish.
Center for Healing Arts and Sciences: Offering reduced-fee $50 solution-focused therapy sessions to first responders and health care professionals. 713526-4444 or info@thecenterfor has.com.
This is My Brave: This national mental health performing-arts nonprofit has more than 800 videos, including full performances, about living with depression, anxiety, PTSD, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, addiction and other mental health issues; youtube.com/user/thisismybrave.
Crisis Intervention Hotline of Houston: For 24/7 confidential crisis counseling, call 832-4161177; its Teen Talk hotline is 832416-1199. crisishotline.org
Mental Health Support Line: This new service helps callers 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays-Fridays.