In the wake of devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey in Houston – and with the storm making landfall again this morning in Louisiana – the call for aid is at an all-time high. Here are just a few examples of outdoor industry companies doing their part to provide aid and relief.
Writer: Travis Poulin
In an effort to help the communities affected by the storms, Austin Canoe and Kayak (ACK) is hosting donation drives at all of their open retail locations. The paddlesports retailer has a team in place that will be hand-delivering items needed to victims in Houston. ACK and its employees will also be donating supplies.
“Our sincerest thoughts go to those who have been affected by this devastating storm,” stated ACK. “The storm has already brought historic rain and flooding to the Texas Coast, and is expected to continue through the week. We know many of our customers, friends, partners and even employees reside or frequent these regions and our hearts go out to you. The Texas coast is our backyard, our playground and we are ready to do what we can to help in the rebuilding process.” Open locations include Austin, which is dealing with power outages and will return to business as soon as possible, San Antonio and San Marcos.
Kayak manufacturer, KL Outdoor/GSC Technologies is sending 2,000 kayaks to aid victims in Houston. The kayaks were purchased from KLO/GSC by Walmart, but KLO/GSC is covering the shipping costs to assist with rescue efforts and transportation. The company is also donating 50 Jon boats to further aid with rescue efforts. Jon boats are often used in such rescues because they can carry multiple people and supplies.
Patagonia is supporting Harvey disaster relief through their partner company, Americares, who is currently distributing water, aid and mobilizing medical outreach. For every $10 donated the organization will provide $200 in aid. Donate at https://secure.americares.org/site/Donation2?df_id=22283&22283.donation=form1&utm_source=SocialIh&utm_medium=Twitter&utm_campaign=nd
While many of us cannot be in Houston to directly help, there are other ways to support Harvey victims:
- The American Red Cross: has set up a donation page to raise money to help victims. The page allows donations through credit card or PayPal.
- All Hands: This nonprofit has staff on the ground and is in contact with emergency management officials about assisting in the response and recovery. You can give here. (4/4 stars from Charity Navigator.)
- Global Giving: A charity crowdfunding site that is attempting to raise $2 million to be used exclusively for local relief and recovery efforts. You can give here. (4/4 stars from Charity Navigator.)
- Greater Houston Community Fund: A broad-based relief fund established by Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner. You can give here.
- Local food banks: The Houston Press has compiled a list of food banks in the affected area, including Houston Food Bank, Galveston County Food Bank, Corpus Christi Food Bank, Southeast Texas Food Bank, and more. They recommend contacting a food bank directly about their need and what you can do.
- Houston Humane Society: The group is helping marshal care and shelter for pets in the area. You can give here. The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of Texas is undertaking similar efforts. You can give here. The San Antonio Humane Society is doing the same. More here.
- Blood donations: The Houston Chronicle noted that Carter BloodCare and the South Texas Blood and Tissue Center are accepting donations.
- Americares: The nonprofit focused on medicine and health is seeking to provide emergency medical supplies and other basic resources to first responders and others in Texas. You can give here. (4/4 stars from Charity Navigator.)
- Portlight: A disaster response group dedicated specifically to people with disabilities. It is seeking to help affected people with evacuation and finding shelter, any medical equipment needs they might have, and more. You can learn more about its efforts here.
- SBP: The New Orleans-based organization is planning to send Americorps volunteers, assist local leaders and nonprofits, and eventually help rebuild damaged or destroyed homes. You can give here. (4/4 stars from Charity Navigator.)
- Airbnb: Is working to coordinate people in need of a place to stay with people willing to offer a free room. More information here.
Charity Navigator’s Hurricane Harvey page offers more information to get involved.