How to help
Donate at www.redcross.org/donate/hurricane-harvey or by texting the word HARVEY to 90999 to make a $10 donation. For more information, visit redcross.org or call 1- 800-RED-CROSS.
United Methodist Committee on Relief
Supplies can be dropped at North Hall High School, 4885 Mount Vernon Road, until Sept. 8 and Mount Vernon Elementary School, 4844 Jim Hood Road, until Sept. 6. Completed buckets can be dropped at First United Methodist Church, 2780 Thompson Bridge Road, from Wednesday to Sept. 14.
BY KAYLA ELDER
As Hurricane Harvey leaves behind a path of destruction along the Gulf Coast, relief efforts are underway across the country to help the residents back on their feet.
Whether through volunteering, financial donations, supplies or shelter, organizations across the area are taking action to help those in need.
Northeast Georgia residents can take part in the efforts in numerous ways. The local American Red Cross and Georgia Mountain Food Bank are both serving those affected by the devastating storm.
“People are being a part of the solution,” said Laura Allen, American Red Cross executive director. “The two most direct forms of how everyone can help is through financial donations and volunteering.”
Allen said the local Red Cross office has sent 77 Georgians, both volunteer and staff members, to serve those affected by the storm.
“If someone feels motivated to help during this time, reach out to us to volunteer,” she said. “It doesn’t matter what skill set you have, we will find a place for everyone.”
Volunteers cover a wide range of tasks including being a responder, shelter worker or client caseworker.
“We have different positions ... everyone is helping them to make sure they get back up on their feet,” she said.
Timing is crucial in the effort to pick up the pieces the hurricane left behind, Allen said.
“Timing is imperative. This takes months, even years, for the communities to recover,” she said. “It is important that people are motivated and understand this is a long-term process. We will need volunteers and donations through that time.”
Allen suggested those interested in giving financially to relief efforts visit charitynavigator.org first before donating.
“So many want to help by giving money, which is wonderful, but the one thing I would say is to make sure you are giving to a reliable source or organization,” she said.
The Georgia Mountain Food Bank is also leading efforts to keep residents stay informed of how to help victims of the storm and their need during this time.
“We are doing the best we can to stay informed. We are receiving several calls about how to help,” Executive Director Kay Blackstock said. “We are asking people to consider supporting organizations on the ground there.”
Blackstock said the nonprofit is partnering with the Houston Food Bank.
“They are efficient and have several trucks out there to serve people,” she said.
The food bank is also pointing locals to the Red Cross and North Georgia Community Foundation among a list of organizations actively pursuing relief efforts.
“We are not taking donations to Texas as many of our counterparts are doing currently … we may have pallets of water going out through a partner aid, but that is not set in stone,” she said.
The Food Bank will be taking calls at 770-534-4111 to help residents find ways to help in relief efforts. For more information visit www.gamountainfoodbank.org.