News and Commentary

How You Can Help Texas Recover From Harvey

The sun finally broke out a bit last evening here in Houston, Texas. Yet the reality that the worst of Hurricane Harvey has now passed belies the daunting nature of the recovery process ahead.

Anyone with a television, newspaper, or social media account over the past five days has seen the devastation that Harvey has wrought on our state. The cameras are not deceiving you. The damage is widespread, and it is nothing short of catastrophic.

The National Weather Service ominously warned on Sunday morning that Harvey would be “unprecedented” and “beyond anything experienced.” As it turns out, the National Weather Service was quite prescient. Harvey obliterated nearly all relevant storm records and ended up being the wettest storm in the history of the continental United States. Hurricane Katrina brought 15 inches of rain to Louisiana, at its highest point; Hurricane Harvey brought roughly 50 inches of rain to Texas.

An area roughly the length of the New York City-Boston corridor has been besieged by Noah’s Ark-level flooding. Coastal towns have been largely destroyed. Thousands upon thousands of people have been displaced — have had to be rescued from their very homes via boat or helicopter. The fourth largest city in the nation (Houston), which sits in perhaps the single most diverse county in the nation (Harris), has had large swaths of its inner core, suburbs, and exurbs alike horrifyingly transmogrified into something out of an apocalyptic horror film.

Texans, of course, have evinced their trademark resilience and valor, as The Daily Wire‘s own Amanda Prestigiacomo captured. The stories of Texan civilians rising to the occasion to become heroes of the day are tremendously inspiring and are ubiquitous. Truly, we are the best of America.

Yet almost all of us living here, even if we were not personally affected, know those who were. We may have a friend or coworker who only escaped from the roof of his own home via the good grace of a volunteer boatman from our impromptu Dunkirk-esque civilian navy. We may have a family member whose precious belongings perished — or whose car or truck simply washed away, never again to return. Perhaps we even know a valiant member of Houston’s finest who tragically lost his life in the service of others in need.

My good friend, fellow Houston transplant, U.S. Marine Corps veteran, and goofy popular Twitter personality Jesse Kelly described his own experiences thusly for The Federalist:

I have seen a father holding a child as they both weep. I have seen a man risking his life to carry his dog through the water to safety, a child asking his mother about his lost toys, and a man weeping tears of joy as he finds out his father is alive. My neighbor ventured out to rescue people yesterday. He barely made it back. The truck did not. As you read this, countless families have lost everything and don’t know what tomorrow may bring. Shelters are at their capacity and the worst flooding is still to come.

Jesse, along with so may of our fellow Texans, has been nothing short of incredible throughout this trying ordeal. But not everyone can physically be here in south/southeast Texas to help us rebuild. And rebuild, of course, we will: The indomitable spirit of the people of this state knows no bounds. But we could also use any help you might be able to generously provide.

To that end, here is a short, non-exhaustive list of charities to which you might consider donating:

These are all trustworthy organizations; every dollar given to them will make a difference in someone’s life. Truly.

Please continue to keep everyone here in your thoughts and prayers. We are hurt, but we are hardly broken. And in many ways, the unified spirit of the people of Texas, as demonstrated this past week amidst the broader backdrop of an increasingly frayed social fabric, is truly helping to make America great again.

Note: Edited to remove the American Red Cross for reasons discussed in this tweet thread by ProPublica.