LOS ANGELES, September 3, 2017 — While many Americans are enjoying Labor Day Weekend, a large chunk of residents in Southeast Texas and Louisiana do not have that luxury. Hurricane Harvey devastated the area with over 52 inches of rain and residents are now under mandatory evacuation to avoid floods.
The overall response by President Trump and Texas Governor Greg Abbott has been praised, but much more needs to be done. In addition to the government response, the American people have opened their hearts, their homes, and their wallets.
Charitable giving to Hurricane Harvey victims has been high and rising like the floods themselves.
However, one major problem remains. Who can be trusted?
Tragedies bring out charitable giving, but they also lead to financial scams. Leftist Islamist activist Linda Sarsour recently took heat for using her website to direct people to donate to hard left social causes under the guise of hurricane relief.
To avoid being scammed, here is a list of organizations that can be trusted to do the right thing with your Hurricane Harvey donations.
Chabad — Sunday, September 3 is the annual Chabad Telethon. Chabad is a social services organization that is run by Chasidic Jewish rabbis. It has branches all over the world, with several Chabad houses in Houston and surrounding areas. The global headquarters are in New York City, as Chabad houses from coast to coast are already coordinating with Texas and Louisiana Chabad houses to distribute food, water, and other survival necessities.
Salvation Army — Chabad is Jewish but helps people of all stripes. The Salvation Army has a Christian backdrop but also has a solid reputation for helping people of all faiths. Their sheer size is combined with a nimble operation that spends its money on the people who need it, not overhead and administration. They are everywhere, and are known for doing right when it matters most. If you have clothing to donate, they will come and pick it up for you.
Kiwanis — This social services organization has 600,000 volunteers across the globe. Kiwanis Clubs can be found virtually everywhere. The organization focuses virtually all of its efforts on helping children, and is absolutely non-political and not connected to any particular religion.
Rotary — This social services organization is also non-political or connected to any religion. They have projects all across the globe, and one of their main causes is providing safe drinking water. Their 1.2 million members and 35,000 clubs can be found in virtually every neighborhood across the world. Rotarians tend to be business and other white collar professionals with expertise in vital areas ranging from medicine to finance.
Anheuser Busch — Most people would rather give money to a charitable organization than a for-profit business. However, the company that makes Budweiser beer has a sterling reputation for charitable giving. In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, Anheuser Busch shut down its beer making operations in several areas and turned them into bottled water operations. While some stores are trying to gouge people for safe drinking water, the Budweiser brewers are giving away as much of it as they can as quickly as they can. They have the distribution capabilities to get the job done. “For all you do, this Bud’s for you” is more than just a slogan. They mean it.
J.J. Watt Foundation — Before Hurricane Harvey, Watt was known as a great football player with an emotional connection to his city. The Houston Texans defensive standout has begun raising money for the city he calls home. While many celebrities raise money for social causes, that money often gets lost in bureaucracy. Watt can be trusted. He has an emotional connection to Houston that is as deep as any athlete to any city except for maybe LeBron James in Cleveland. Even before Hurricane Harvey, Watt’s foundation raised over three million dollars for youth athletics.
National Football League — Most people would never think of donating money to a professional sports league that has faced numerous controversies over the years. However, one area where the NFL totally gets it right is in its charitable giving. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the NFL immediately donated one million dollars to the New Orleans relief effort. The league is run by billionaire owners with multi-millionaire players. Rich people know other rich people. The NFL is particularly quick to help out cities that have NFL franchises, including Houston. Texans owner Bob McNair will be leading the effort to help rebuild his city. The NFL has the financial muscle to work with some of the biggest organizations in America. For Hurricane Harvey relief, they have partnered with the American Red Cross.