Houston, Florida, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico need our help

Flooded street in suburban Houston on the morning of Wed, Aug 30, 24 hours after the rain stopped.
Photo: Steve Thomas

By Steve Thomas

Updated September 5, 2017 and September 26, 2017

Originally posted August 28, 2017

If you’ve listened to the Hog Sty or It’s Just Business, you know that I live in the greater Houston metro area.  While I am fortunate enough to have survived the worst of the ongoing Hurricane Harvey disaster with only minor damage, there are now over 23,000 people living in shelters throughout the state and another 5,000 living in state parks, all of whom being in dire circumstances thanks to 50 inches of rain dumped on the Houston area.  The people of East Texas – in the Beaumont, Port Arthur, Orange area – and east into Louisiana were hit just as hard as Houston.  The Texas Division of Emergency Management currently estimates that over 6,800 homes were destroyed, with another 124,000 being damaged, but those estimates are expected to rise as the cleanup phase begins.  At of this moment, over a week after the storm, freeways are still closed due to flood waters, and some neighborhoods are still accessible only by boat.  It’s a desperate situation down here – this is the worst flood in U.S. history when measured by total amount of rain.  Cleanup will take years and cost billions.  We ask that those of you who are able to please donate money to reputable relief agencies to allow them to do their jobs and help those who have lost everything.

Now, as you are all aware, Hurricane Irma has struck the state of Florida and the Caribbean islands.  Irma was one of the strongest Atlantic storms ever recorded, and we are only now beginning to see the true extent of the damage suffered; most certainly, like Texas, tens of thousands of lives have been affected and cleanup will cost billions.  The U.S. Virgin Islands in particular were struck while Irma was still a category 5 storm and will need to be rebuilt in large part.

Unfortunately, Hurricane Maria has inflicted what the governor of Puerto Rico called “apocalyptic” damage on the island.  The entire island is without power with the exception of portable generators, the airport remains closed over a week after the storm, and tens of thousands are homeless.  Much like Houston, Florida, and the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico desperately needs our help – in fact, reports seem to indicate that it’s much worse there.  The entire island’s infrustructure will need to be rebuilt, and while the federal government is sending a massive amount of federal resources and money, we can still help here, too.

We want you, our Hog Sty readers, to help.  Remember, the people of the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico are Americans too, and deserve our help just as much as anyone else.  The following are some agencies that we feel are worthy, honest, and are providing immediate, locate help and can use your financial support:


RED CROSS: http://www.redcross.org/hp/harvey or donate by phone by calling 1-800-HELP-NOW

UNITED WAY OF TEXAS HURRICANE HARVEY DISASTER RELIEF: https://www.uwtexas.org/hurricane-harvey

SALVATION ARMY: https://give.salvationarmyusa.org/site/Donation2?df_id=27651&mfc_pref=T&27651.donation=form1 or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY

TEAM RUBICON: https://teamrubiconusa.org/


409 HURRICANE HARVEY RELIEF FUND: https://www.youcaring.com/familiesaffectedbyhurricaneharveyinthe409area-931377 – organized by the NFL’s Earl Thomas and Jamaal Charles

HOUSTON FOOD BANK: http://www.houstonfoodbank.org/



RED CROSS: https://www.redcross.org/donate/hurricane-irma-donations?campname=irma&campmedium=disasterhp

SALVATION ARMY: https://give.salvationarmyusa.org/site/Donation2?df_id=28057&mfc_pref=T&28057.donation=form1

UNITED WAY OF FLORIDA: http://www.uwof.org/find-your-local-united-way-0

UNITED WAY OF THE U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS: https://www.unitedwayusvi.org/Help

DUNCAN USVI RELIEF: https://www.youcaring.com/21usvirginislandrelieffund-942738 – Charity organized by NBA basketball player Tim Duncan, who is a USVI native.



FONDOS UNIDOS DE PUERTO RICO – The organization was started by the First Lady of Puerto Rico and is working with the United Way and the Red Cross: http://www.fondosunidos.org/


This isn’t an exhaustive list, and we’ll keep updating it as time goes by.  If you need more information or want information on other ways to help, please contact us at thehogsty@gmail.com or on Twitter @thehogsty.