In any time of crisis, it's natural to want to be able to help, to feel like one can do something, even something small, to assist someone else. As the coronavirus pandemic continues to grip Houston and beyond, organizations that are used to providing for those in need are feeling the squeeze of dwindled supplies and donations.
For Houstonians who are in a place to assist, here are some organizations collecting money and supplies.
Interested in helping a specific Houston charity? Check out our handy Charity Guide.
Houston Children's Charity
Dedicated to improving the lives of Houston's underprivileged, disabled, and abused children, the organization was established in 1996. The group cancelled its annual gala, but is hosting an online auction to raise funds. Check the organization's website for further details.
While school-aged children can often get meals at school — and many schools throughout the area continue to provide this service — Kids' Meals helps alleviate food neediness for area preschoolers. The nonprofit typically provides 3,000 meals to youngsters; since the advent of the coronavirus pandemic, the need has increased to 6,000 as the organization looks to help cover preschoolers' siblings, too. Those who can help are encouraged to donate here.
Second Servings of Houston
Founded in 2014, this is the area's prepared and perishable food rescue organization. Its main goal is to pick up unused food from retailers, hotels, and restaurants and deliver it to sites throughout Houston. Restaurateurs with overstock can click here for details if they want to donate food. Others who wish to help can donate online.
Southern Smoke Foundation
Founded by Houston James Beard Award-winning chef Chris Shepherd in 2015, this organization raises funds to help members of the food and beverage community facing hardships. With Houston restaurants reduced to curbside pickup, takeout, and delivery options, the need for relief is great.
Those working in the hospitality sector who are affected by coronavirus closures and hours reductions can apply for assistance from the organization's Emergency Relief Fund here. For those who've helped make dining out Houston's unofficial city pastime, consider making a donation that could help a favorite server, bartender, chef or other hospitality professional.
The American Red Cross - Houston
The American Red Cross - Houston desperately needs donations of lifesaving blood, platelets, or AB Elite plasma. The blood shortage could impact patients who need surgery, emergency victims, and cancer patients. The organization insists that donating is a safe and urges organizers to maintain scheduled blood drives.