Hurricane | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books

Image: via GraphicStock

Deborah Carney of BookGoodies often shares on their newsletters some of the best news and tidbits you’ve read on this blog. Back in 2012, she lost everything in Hurricane Sandy. This taught her a lot about how organizations and the government don’t help the way you think they will. So, Hurricane Harvey now prompted her to compile and share a list of organizations that are dedicated to helping people directly affected. They are “boots on the ground” and not tying your donations up in administrative costs and funding things that don’t really help.

For her, a group of people created a campaign similar to what GoFundMe is now and people all over the world sent money directly through PayPal. She used that money to rent a car and go out once the roads were open, to get supplies and even simply to get a fast food dinner for her neighbors. She used it to make the deposits to rent a place to live and rent a car to drive her and her cats and what little she had left cross-country from NYC to Arizona, where her daughter found her a place to live.

People from other areas of NYC in the weeks following, when they still didn’t have power, just showed up and opened the backs of their cars that were loaded with fruits and vegetables, paper towels and toilet paper – things they couldn’t get out to stores to get. Things that the stores around didn’t have. So, if you know a family directly, don’t even ask; they might be too proud and anyway won’t have a clue what their expenses are going to be, or they might think they are going to reimbursed for things that won’t be. Find out if they have a PayPal and just donate directly to them. Watch for scammers and make it people you, or someone you know, has a personal connection to.

Remember that it isn’t just this week or today that the people and animals need your help. It is tomorrow, next week and next month.

I hope this helps some of you decide how you can help if you have been looking for a way to cut through the noise and find the real helpers.

JJ Watt

This is a football player in Houston that is already well known for his charity work. He has pledged to go out and purchase items that are needed by people and deliver them to not only people in Houston but Rockport and other hard hit areas. He is well respected and your money will go where he says it will. He seeded this with $100,000 of his own money – he isn’t just asking for money from others.

JJ Watt

Hurricane Harvey Animals

This one is a group of horse lovers in Chandler Arizona and Queen Creek Arizona. They are gathering feed, supplies, donations for gas and other supplies, that they are going to personally drive to Texas and deliver to farms and areas they know the Red Cross and other organizations aren’t serving.

Hurricane Harvey Animals

Texas Baby Bank

Diapers for babies. As the wee one is now 20-months-old, I know first-hand how many she goes through in a single day. I can’t even imagine what life would be like without these little lifesavers.

Texas Baby Bank ​​​​​​​

Mormon Helping Hands

When you have spent days throwing out your family photographs, heirlooms, your furniture, your books and everything that was once part of your daily existence and you can’t take it anymore and then a group of young people walk up the street and say “What do you need?” and you can let them take out the refrigerator that fell over that you didn’t know how you were going to move, and the washer and dryer you worked hard to buy, you don’t care what religion they are. They are just there to help, and you are eternally grateful.

Mormon Helping Hands

Other Organizations

In Deborah’s case, the following organizations showed up and dived in and helped with food, donations directly to people and with hands to help her clean out her house. They were there before the Red Cross and did more for people than any government agency did and without “paperwork” or asking for anything in return:

As always, please feel free to share these links, this post and this information with anyone you think would be interested.