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Faith Leaders Givers Nonprofit Leaders Resources 5min read

Hurricane Harvey Disaster Relief Success Stories

Time and again this nation has proven itself able to come together to help our fellow citizens in times of great need. While the U.S. struggles to recover from three major hurricanes in the space of a few weeks, it’s important to be mindful of the positive. So let’s do that here, as we all could use a little good news.

Showing the Best of Human Nature

In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, Givelify member organizations rallied to provide relief through monetary and other donations. Thanks to you, over $30,000 in donations was raised in just one week, and these donations continue to come in. While the majority of these donations came from within the state of Texas, people from 30 other states and Washington, D.C gave to these organizations to help address the devastation. In addition to the monetary donations, a number of organizations ended up receiving donations of goods from around the country.

Below are a few examples of how churches and other organizations were able to help.

Heaven’s Army of Resources

Heaven’s Army of Resources in the Houston, Texas, suburb of New Caney was the recipient of a truck loaded with non-perishable goods including foodstuffs, bottled water, pet food, diapers, wipes, and baby formula trucked all the way from Indianapolis, Indiana.

The Indianapolis Ten Point Coalition, a partnership between the faith-based community, community leaders, businesses, law enforcement, and the court system, was seeking to help hurricane victims with supplies. In searching out potential recipient organizations, a member of the group saw our Givelify list shared on Facebook, and recommended Heaven’s Army.

With sponsorship from local restaurant Red Lion Grog House, Keller & Keller Law Firm, and a number of individual citizens, the volunteer-driven truck arrived in New Caney on Monday, September 4. This effort helped Heaven’s Army deliver more than 20 truckloads of goods to assist families affected by flooding and other storm damage.

Blessings all the way from Indianapolis, Indiana! THANK YOU INDIANA! Heaven’s Army and Texas loves you!

– LaNora Flores Purvis, Heaven’s Army of Resources

Pentecostal Assemblies of the World

Givelify member organization Pentecostal Assemblies of the World (PAW) and Presiding Bishop Charles H. Ellis, III, oversaw a “Stuff a Semi” relief effort from Greater Grace Temple, Detroit, Michigan.

For those outside the Detroit area, PAW conducted a fundraising drive on their website and social media using the hashtag #Detroit2Houston. They encouraged all PAW affiliates to continue to donate beyond the initial days, reminding them that the effects would be ongoing for months to come. The organization received financial donations from members all across the country.

In all, PAW contributed an entire semi-trailer load of goods and thousands of dollars to the relief effort, and the monetary donations continue to roll in.

Disciple Central Community Church

Disciple Central Community Church in DeSoto, Texas, quickly organized a benefit concert utilizing Givelify for monetary donations in addition to gathering needed goods. The concert featured national recording artists including Myron Butler and Jessica Reedy and was streamed live. The stream reached over 100,000 people and generated thousands of dollars in donations from across the country in just a few hours.

They received so many donations of food, clothing, cleaning supplies, and bottled water that they required multiple semis, box trucks, and buses to deliver them to Port Arthur and Dallas. In addition to just delivering supplies, members participated in a day of service in Beaumont, helping residents with cleanup.

Our church was blessed to be a blessing to those who were impacted by Hurricane Harvey.

– Pastor Marcus King

What Your Organization Can Learn

These organizations were able to leverage their Givelify membership and social media to dramatically increase the reach of their relief efforts. By being findable in the app and online, they were able to receive donations from people seeking to help from well outside their own communities. Their relief campaigns were enabled instantly, with zero startup cost and no setup time, so they could begin receiving donations immediately.

Their membership also enabled more than just monetary donations. When a disaster occurs, people need supplies like food, water, pet food, and generators. By sharing their needs on social networking sites like Facebook, people could donate both money and necessary goods.

Having a presence in a universal mobile and online giving app means your organization can be found by millions of people, anytime, anywhere. When disaster strikes, you can end up raising funds and collecting donations of material goods from well beyond your own geographic area, meaning you can help more people in dire need of assistance.

Small Organizations, Big Impact

Sharing on social media clearly had an effect on giving. In the examples above, you see organizations sharing photos, videos, and calls to donate extensively on social media. People could see the effects of their giving by following social updates.

Finally, stories like these show that you don’t have to be a huge, national organization to make a significant impact. For every Red Cross, there are thousands of places of worship and charities out there working to help people. Your organization may not have that kind of wide brand recognition or make national news, but you can still make a tremendous difference in your communities–especially in times where people are actively looking for ways to give.

Not a member yet? Learn how you can sign up and get involved.

About the Author

Matt is dedicated to making the world a better place. He works passionately to help charitable causes use mobile technology to raise the funds they need. In addition to his role at Givelify, he volunteers with the Southside Animal Shelter and Kentuckiana Pug Rescue.

Matt Chandler