Living in Maine

Learn how you can help victims of Hurricane Harvey

The last week has been terrifying as victims of Hurricane Harvey have lost everything: their homes, clothes, possessions, and some have even lost their lives. Being here in southern Maine, many are probably wondering what they can do to help. As Hurricane Irma gets ready to make land fall in Florida, we’ve put together a list of ways that you can help, from physical donations to how you can donate directly to charities that need your support the most.

1. Bring physical donations to fill up Binnie Media Group’s trailer at Mattress Firm

If you’re looking to donate supplies, Binnie Media Group is currently collecting supplies in front of Mattress Firm at the Maine Mall from 7 am to 6 pm through Friday, which is the day of publication on this blog. The trailer is being prepared and will be driven directly to Texas, where its contents will be used by the Houston Food Bank. Supplies that are needed most urgently include ready-to-eat food and meals, granola bars, peanut butter, cleaning supplies like mops, brooms, buckets, bug spray, and bleach wipes. These supplies will go into the hands of the people that need it most. This is one of the only ways to get physical supplies into survivor’s hands, as travel to the area is still almost impossible due to the extreme flooding and devastation that Hurricane Harvey has wrought.

2. Donate directly to the American Red Cross

Can’t make it to the trailer at Mattress Firm? Monetary donations are always welcome, and the American Red Cross is a great organization to support. The American Red Cross is on the front lines, and donations are what keep their services going. For donations, they are recommending people donate directly on their website, or $10 donations can be made by texting 90999 as well.

3. Donate blood to the American Red Cross

Want to help the survivors of Hurricane Harvey but can’t afford to donate? One important way you can help is by donating your blood to the American Red Cross. Blood is always needed, but in times of desperation and uncertainty, it’s needed even more. There are multiple blood drives that have already been set up in southern Maine.

  • Friday, September 8: Portland Blood Donation Center, 524 Forest Avenue, Portland from 7:15 AM-3:00 PM
  • Saturday & Sunday, September 9-10: Portland Blood Donation Center, 524 Forest Avenue, Portland from 7:15 AM-3:00 PM
  • Monday, September 11th: Italian Heritage Club, 40 Westland Avenue, Portland from 11:00 AM-5:00 PM

4. Donate your online (anonymous) Amazon shopping history through Data Does Good

Another way to help survivors of Hurricane Harvey without spending a dime is through a company called Data Does Good. Data Does Good is a Public Benefit Corporation, which essentially means that they are a hybrid between a non-profit and a for-profit organization. What does that mean to you? It means that you can donate your anonymous shopping history from Amazon to Data Does Good. Data Does Good then sells the anonymous information, in a pool with others to reveal shopping trends in a market, to brands that then fund a donation to the nonprofit of your choice. Data Does Good never receives your personal information, so all search history is secure and encrypted automatically.  Want to help the survivors of Hurricane Harvey directly with Data Does Good? Visit this link to be taken to the Greater Houston Community Foundation’s Data Does Good page.

5. Become a Foster for animals that have been devastated by Hurricane Harvey

Humans aren’t the only survivors when it comes to hurricanes like Harvey or Irma. If you want to make a difference in the lives of animals, consider fostering through groups like the Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland, or The Pixel Fund. Being a foster means that you’re giving an animal the opportunity to get out of the shelter and into a loving home environment. Fosters are always needed, but with crises like Hurricane Harvey, it can be a matter of life and death, since each open spot in the shelter can then be filled by another animal in need.

There are many other ways that you can help Hurricane Harvey survivors but these are 5 ways that you can do your part. We wish all the best to those that are being affected by Hurricane Irma as well, and hope that people stay safe!