Here are 4 things you can do RIGHT NOW to help mama survivors of Hurricane Harvey:
OK, so first things first. Natural disasters do not affect everyone equally. Cash and resource poor families are absolutely the ones hit the hardest. The call to evacuate the city tends to be an impossible one for these folks, with potentially no access to cars or gas money (or any other place to go). The historical housing redlining and urbanization practices has many of these folks living in close proximity to each other, further exacerbating the struggle and competition for resources. Additionally, with home ownership and insurance being factors in the recovery efforts, it’s not uncommon to see hurricane relief efforts misplaced and guided away from low-income communities.
So, we’ve gathered up some more direct ways to help out mamas more directly. These are the left-behind families. They need our help.
The Texas Diaper Bank in San Antonio is asking for diapers and wipes, which can be dropped off in person or mailed to 5415 Bandera Road, Suite 504, San Antonio, TX, 78238
Donating cash directly to a local, grassroots organization is the most immediate way to help. It can be difficult to get items shipped to Houston right now, so sending cash via PayPal can be a more immediate way to help organizations run their operations and get supplies and aid to people in need. This method is also amazing because any dollar amount helps! Nonprofit organizations can combine and stretch dollars to make greater impact. These organizations are directly targeting the mamas hit hardest:
World On My Shoulders: paypal.me/worldonmyshoulders
Money from this organization will go directly to families via local Houston activists. Please note “Hurricane Harvey” in your PayPal note.
RAICES: Money from this organization will support the location of housing for women and children released from ICE detention centers in the wake of this storm.
The Diaper Foundation: This Houston-based organization is currently only accepting funds, as their physical facility is temporarily closed due to flooding. Keep in mind that this disaster will have long-lasting effects. This local organization will continue to support families in need.
3. Feminine Hygiene Products
As mamas, we know that if and when disaster strikes, we put our kids first every time. It’s important that we help these mamas also care for themselves. These organizations are geared towards helping Hurricane Harvey victims gather basic hygiene products including feminine supply products for women.
Happy Period: This national organization has set up an Amazon wishlist exclusively for feminine hygiene products for women affected by Hurricane Harvey. This list also includes menstrual cups, which are a long term, more sustainable and reusable option for women.
I Support the Girls: This organization is collecting (new and lightly used) bras, tampons, and maxi pads to distribute to displaced women from the hurricane. This would be a great place to ship any of those nursing bras you’ve been trying to figure out what to do with. Here’s the shipping address:
Support the Girls
c/o Grace Whitley
PO Box 581
Wylie, TX 75098
4. Direct One-to-One Support
This smaller scale action can have a MAJOR impact on one family’s livelihood. With over 72,000 people rescued, and an estimated 30,000 needing temporary shelter (source here), it’s clear that there will be a lot of families needing financial support to rebuild their lives. Here are some ways to offer financial support directly to a woman in need:
By social media word-of-mouth: with resources like GoFundMe, you can see who your friends are donating to. It’s not unlikely that you are 1 to 2 degrees separated from someone directly impacted. By utilizing your social network, you can avoid scams, and be sure you’re supporting someone who actually needs it. One of our team shared a friend’s GoFundMe. Check it out here.
A group of activists including DiDi Delgado worked to create a network to directly contribute to Black women. You can find the list here.
Ultimately, there are a ton of ways to help women who have survived this natural tragedy. We ask that you give when you can, and what you can. The scale of Hurricane Harvey means that recovery and rebuilding will be ongoing for a very long time. Let’s not forget about these mamas and families when the cameras stop rolling.
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