Here’s Why I Won’t Be Crafting for Hurricane Harvey

Through the deep coverage of Hurricane Harvey, I have come to understand one thing: I will not be crafting as a response to this disaster… at least, not yet.

We know it’s hard, but please put down your needles and hooks: there’s a better way to support people affected by Hurricane Harvey than crafting (even if it goes against your instincts).

When disasters strike, crafters want to give those affected more than a check. Our first impulse is to help by giving something handmade, hoping that whoever receives our little labor of love will feel special and remembered.

HOUSTON, TX – AUGUST 29: People take shelter at the George R. Brown Convention Center after flood waters from Hurricane Harvey inundated the city on August 29, 2017 in Houston, Texas. The evacuation center which is overcapacity has already received more than 9,000 evacuees with more arriving. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Unfortunately, sending items to an area trying to rebuild after a disaster can hurt more than it helps. Bob Ottenhoff, president and CEO of the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, told NPR, “This is not the time to be donating products or even services. . . . With the floods blocking off streets, when warehouses are not available, there’s no place for these products—there’s no place to store anything, there’s no place to distribute anything. And that’s going to be the case for some time.” The Red Cross released a video explaining these issues:

Donating money instead of handmade items allows charities to buy exactly what they need and can effectively distribute. They can also use that money in the long term, when most volunteers have gone home and the donations start to diminish; after all, the effort to help people rebuild their homes and livelihoods can only start when the floodwaters leave.

Donation Options

Red Cross

The American Red Cross is working around the clock along the Gulf Coast to help the thousands of people whose lives have been devastated by Hurricane Harvey.

Texas Diaper Bank

The Disaster Relief program supplies those affected by natural disasters in Texas with diapers—the only organization in Texas specifically providing victims diapers. TXDB collaborates with partner agencies who coordinate and provide relief services to communities affected by natural disasters.

Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund

This is a tax-deductible fund started by Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and Harris County Judge Ed Emmett.

SPCA of Texas

This organization is helping animals affected by Harvey.

Hurricane Harvey

People wait in line to buy groceries at a Food Town during the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey on August 30, 2017 in Houston, Texas. Monster storm Harvey made landfall again Wednesday in Louisiana, evoking painful memories of Hurricane Katrina’s deadly strike 12 years ago, as time was running out in Texas to find survivors in the raging floodwaters. Photo Credit: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images

If you prefer not to send money (or you’re unable to), you can also help by donating blood through the Red Cross, adopting a pet from Austin Pets Alive!, which has taken in a large number of animals displaced by the hurricane; or by volunteering your time to the Red Cross effort.

For a larger list of charities, check out this NPR article, and learn more about why sending monetary donations is better than sending physical items here.

Our thoughts and well wishes are with all those affected by Hurricane Harvey.

—The Interweave Team

One Comment

  1. Judy J G at 5:56 am September 4, 2017

    My favorite is the Salvation Army….I believe they are best at using money wisely !

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