How to help victims of Hurricane Harvey

HOUSTON — Hurricane Harvey has destroyed communities across southeast Texas since it slammed the coastline late Friday. The storm has ripped apart homes, knocked out power and left unprecedented flooding.

As rescuers work to save people affected by the flooding, several organizations have reached out to help those affected and others are making it easy for you to assist the victims of the storm.

The FOX31 Problem Solvers and Colorado’s Own Channel 2 are partnering with the Salvation Army to collect baby supplies and hygiene items on Wednesday, Sept 6. Click here for the drop-off locations in Denver, Northglenn and Parker and to see the specific items that will be accepted.

American Red Cross

The American Red Cross is seeking donations to help the victims. The humanitarian organization is opening shelters, sending supplies and putting volunteers in place around Texas.

Call 1-800-RED CROSS or text “HARVEY” to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations also are being accepted at RedCross.org.

Volunteers can also go to Texas to help.

Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund

In Texas, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner has established the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund, which will be administered by the Greater Houston Community Foundation.

Texas Diaper Bank

Diapers are not provided by most disaster relief agencies, but one group is vowing to keep “all bottoms covered.” The Texas Diaper Bank is providing emergency kits to families displaced by Hurricane Harvey. Click here to donate.

Austin Pets Alive

Austin Pets Alive is an animal shelter and no-kill pet advocacy group.

The organization said it has transported more than 235 animals as of Saturday morning. It is seeking assistance to help with pets in the form of cash donations, fostering, supplies and volunteers.

Catholic Charities USA

Catholic Charities USA, a Catholic social service organization, is asking for donations to help people affected by Harvey.

“Our agencies provide essential support before, during and after disasters hit. In fact, long-term recovery is an integral part of Catholic Charities’ holistic approach and we work tirelessly to ensure individuals can live their lives with the dignity we all deserve. This service is provided to the community regardless of religion, social or economic background,” the organization’s website states.

Make a donation on its website or by texting “CCUSADISASTER” to 71777.

Coastal Bend Disaster Recovery Group

The Coastal Bend Disaster Recovery Group is a nonprofit organization that provides long-term help to areas recovering from natural disasters.

“In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, areas of the Coastal Bend will no doubt be devastated and long-term recover needs of the under-served population will emerge,” the group wrote in a Facebook post.

For more information and details on how to donate, visit its website..

Global Giving

The crowdfunding website is hoping to raise $2 million for Hurricane Harvey relief.

Salvation Army

Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services, the disaster relief arm of the organization, is accepting donations to help victims of Harvey by phone at 1-800-SAL-ARMY or online.

Save the Children

Save the Children is an organization that provides relief to children and families. The organization has emergency responders on the ground helping kids and families affected by the hurricane.

Donations are being accepted to its relief fund.

Tips for avoiding scammers seeking donations

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams is urging people who want to make contributions to research the charity before making a donation.

“It is important for Coloradans to research the charities they support and trust that their donations are being used prudently,” he said. “To this end, we encourage everyone to use CheckTheCharity.com to learn more about their favorite charities before making donations.”

Here are the tips from Colorado Secretary of State’s to try to avoid charity scams:

  1. Ask for the registration number of the charity and paid solicitor.
  2. Make a note of the individual caller’s first and last name and the name of the telemarketing company that employs the caller.
  3. Ask the solicitor how much of the donation will go to the charity, whether the donation is tax deductible, and what charitable programs it will support.
  4. If solicited in person, ask for the solicitor’s identification and registration number.
  5. Resist pressure to give on the spot, whether from a telemarketer or door-to-door solicitor, and beware if they thank you for making a pledge you don’t remember making. If you feel uncomfortable, just say, “No, thank you.”
  6. Do not pay in cash. Donate by check made payable to the charity or use the charity’s website to donate by credit card.
  7. Make sure you are visiting the official website of the charity you wish to support, and beware of lookalike websites, especially if you are asked to provide personal financial information.
  8. Research the charity’s disclosure and financial statements on the Secretary of State’s website.
  9. Be wary if the charity fails to provide detailed information about its identity, mission, finances and how the donation will be used. Reputable charities will gladly provide the information requested.
  10. Watch out for charities with names that sound similar to well-known organizations. These sound-alike names are intended to confuse.