How to help Hurricane Harvey victims

Aug 30, 2017

As with many natural disasters, people may be looking for ways to assist victims of Hurricane Harvey.

But Maine Attorney General Janet T. Mills advises Mainers to choose wisely before sending funds to help the families and communities suffering from the extreme weather in Texas this week.

“A natural disaster brings out the best us, and people around the world offer whatever we can to aid victims like those down in Texas this week,” Mills said. “Unfortunately, it also sometimes brings out people who take advantage of our good nature and provide no help to those in need.”

Questions or complaints about particular organizations may be directed to the Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-436-2131.

Other sources for guidance related to charitable giving are websites for the Maine Attorney General, the Texas Attorney General, and the Federal Trade Commission.

Do not give money to organizations that are unfamiliar or not recommended official sources. Organizations that are considered reliable include American Red Cross, which is encouraging people to donate money on its website, redcross.org, or text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10. Apple is also accepting Red Cross donations via iTunes and the Apple App Store.

The Red Cross is also seeking blood. Upcoming local blood drives are listed in the events calendar.

Other reputable organizations accepting donations for hurricane victims are:

  • Americares, an emergency response organization based in Connecticut, is delivering emergency medicine and relief supplies and working with a local clinic in Houston. Make a donation at americares.org.
  • United Way Worldwide has a relief fund to provide shelter and basic needs, as well as long-term recovery efforts. Donate at https://www.unitedway.org/.
  • The Salvation Army is accepting donations for hurricane relief at give.salvationarmyusa.org.
  • To help pets stranded by Hurricane Harvey, donations are being accepted by the Humane Society of the United States at  http://www.humanesociety.org/.
  • For volunteer opportunities or other places to donate, check with National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster, at nvoad.org.
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