Our thoughts and prayers are with all TCTA members, their families, colleagues, students and communities affected by Hurricane Harvey. Donations and volunteers will be needed in the months ahead as Southeast Texas recovers and starts to rebuild. We've put together a list of resources for those directly impacted by the storm along with ways to help. We encourage TCTA members to offer assistance however they can.

Donate money

Food and supplies will be needed in the area, but for now, officials say the best way to help is to donate money.

  • The American Red Cross is accepting donations for Hurricane Harvey relief. Click here, call 1-800-RED CROSS or text HARVEY to 90999 to make a $10 donation for those in need.
  • The Salvation Army is also accepting donations. Click here to donate or find more information about how to help.
  • Catholic Charities, and the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund established by Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner through the Greater Houston Community Foundation are among other charities collecting Hurricane Harvey specific donations.
  • Charity Navigator, which helps donors learn more about the organizations they plan to support, has a list of other groups collecting money for Hurricane Harvey relief
  • In the Austin area, the Austin Disaster Relief Network is collecting donations and supplies to help those displaced by the hurricane. Click here to learn more.

Help affected school districts

The Texas Education Agency has a hurricane response page set up as it helps districts affected by Harvey. It also set up a page for parents and a hotline parents can call for more information: 512-463-9603.

Commissioner of Education Mike Morath announced Aug. 29 that school districts and charters within Gov. Greg Abbott’s 58-county disaster declaration for Hurricane Harvey can submit missed school day waivers for any scheduled instructional days missed this week due to recent adverse weather conditions. On Sept. 1, he extended the waivers through Sept. 8 and said TEA would continue working with districts that remain closed beyond next week.

“Hurricane Harvey hit our state as many districts prepared to begin the new school year. In some communities, the school year was already underway,” Morath said. “High winds, heavy rains and flooding have had a devastating effect on campuses throughout a large portion of Texas. Along with everyone at the Texas Education Agency, we stand ready to assist our schools in the weeks ahead.”

At TCTA's urging, the Texas Education Agency sent a letter Sept. 12 notifying school district administrators that they can request permission from the commissioner to reduce teacher contract days without reducing salaries in the event of flooding or extreme weather, as allowed under current law. Click here to read more.

ESCs launch donation pages to help affected schools

Education Service Centers in affected regions are now accepting donations to help schools with storm recovery. Click on the region below to learn more about how you can help:

The U.S. Department of Education has set up a phone line and email for anyone needing assistance from USDE due to Hurricane Harvey. 

The Houston ISD Foundation has started a fundraiser to help students in the district affected by flooding. Click here to donate.

The district also is accepting donations of new and unused clothing, shoes, underwear, socks, uniforms and school supplies, as well as canned food and water. Donations can be shipped to:

HISD Harvey Donations
Delmar Fieldhouse
2020 Mangum Road
Houston, TX 77092

Houston ISD also set up a webpage with resources for district staff affected by the storm.

All students in Houston ISD will receive free meals through the National School Lunch/Breakfast Program. "All HISD students will eat all school meals for free during the 2017-2018 school year," the district said in an Aug. 30 release. Families will need to apply for the waiver.

Harlingen CISD partnered with Habitat for Humanity of the Rio Grande Valley to gather supplies to send to families in need across the region. Click here to learn more. 

The Texas Department of Agriculture reports that all students affected by Hurricane Harvey will receive free meals through Sept. 30.

The Texas Rural School Association Foundation is collecting donations to purchase school supplies for affected students and schools. Click here to donate. 

Many school districts across the state are gathering supplies to send to those in affected areas. 

The American School Counselor Association offers tips and resources to help children cope with hurricanes and floods.

Other ways to help

Hospitals in the affected area need blood. Make an appointment to donate at your local blood bank, as many of them are sending surplus blood to the affected areas. 

Donors can also offer support to food banks in Texas. Here are some of the ones helping people affected by the storm:

The nonprofit Coastal Bend Disaster Recovery Group is seeking donations and volunteers to help area residents recover from the storm. Click here to learn more or make a donation.

Many churches also are collecting supplies.

Before you show up to volunteer or bring in-kind goods to donate, call the organization you wish to support. While goods will be needed as cleanup and rebuilding begin, storage in affected areas is limited.

The SPCA of Texas is coordinating relief efforts for displaced animals. Click here to see how you can help.

In Austin, Austin Pets Alive also is seeking volunteers to serve as foster families. Click here to learn more.

Many private citizens and groups are starting fundraisers on platforms like GoFundMe and DonorsChoose to help Hurricane Harvey victims. 

Teachers volunteer in shelters

Teachers Volunteering in Shelters, a newly-formed group of Houston-area teachers that organized in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey to assist families in the flood-ravaged areas of Southeast Texas, has more than 800 teachers from the area helping meet the needs of students displaced by the storm. Click here to learn more. 

 

For those who need assistance

All those who need recovery assistance from FEMA are being asked to register at disasterassistance.gov.

State and local hotel taxes have been waived for evacuees and relief workers through Oct. 23.

For those whose FEMA claims are not approved, low-interest loans may be available from the U.S. Small Business Administration. Click here to learn more.

Survivors, including evacuees, in need of debris removal and home cleanup assistance as a result of Hurricane Harvey should call Crisis Cleanup at 844-965-1386 for free assistance from vetted disaster relief organizations. 

For all other disaster-related needs (food, clothing, shelter, etc.) residents should call 2-1-1. 

Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster is an association of organizations that helps coordinate groups offering help after a disaster. National VOAD members who are providing assistance can be found here. For a list of Texas-based VOAD members, click here.

Talk to a professional about emotional distress by calling the Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990 or texting “TalkWithUs” to 66746.

Resources for teachers who need assistance

School employees who may lose compensation if a district does not pay salary can apply for disaster unemployment assistance offered through the Texas Workforce Commission. Click here to complete the online application or call the TWC Tele-Center at 800-939-6631 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.

The Texas Workforce Commission also offers the following resources with more information about available services and qualifications:

Deadlines are approaching for those who wish to apply for assistance.

  • Residents in the following counties must apply by Sept. 27: 
    • Aransas, Bee, Brazoria, Calhoun, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Goliad, Harris, Jackson, Kleberg, Liberty, Matagorda, Nueces, Refugio, San Patricio, Victoria and Wharton.
  • Residents in the following counties must apply for assistance by Sept. 29: 
    • Colorado, Fayette, Hardin, Jasper, Jefferson, Montgomery, Newton, Orange, Sabine, Jacinto and Waller.

myON, a digital reading platform offering unlimited access to thousands of books and daily news articles written just for kids, in English and Spanish, is providing free access to 10,000 digital books to families, shelter workers, community volunteers, and others who are helping children through this challenging period. Click here for more information.

Through the Simon & Schuster Education & Library marketing department, the company is offering to any Texas public or school library damaged by Hurricane Harvey a donation of 250 “Best of” titles to help in the restoration of their collections. Schools and libraries that wish to request assistance can email Simon & Schuster at education.library@simonandschuster.com.