photo: Pixabay

Hurricane Harvey has left devastation across the state of Texas and storms continue to make an impossible situation even worse. Watching a natural disaster unfold on television can make you feel helpless to assist, especially when you know there are families and kids in need. Thankfully there are a few ways everyone can help no matter where you are.

In the aftermath of a disaster it can be hard to know how your donations are actually being spent, leaving you wondering which charities are the best to support. ProPublica offers some great tips on how to select a charity. If you’re ever in doubt about whether a charitable organization is actually reputable, you can also use Charity Navigator. The site not only let’s you search for charities, but it also provides objective ratings and information so you can decide the best place to give.

Here are a few of the top rated charities to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey:

Save The Children helps children and their families in times of crisis by providing family-friendly supplies.

Americares provides emergency medicine and supplies.

International Relief Teams has partnered with Convoy of Hope to provide personal hygiene kits to victims of the disaster. You can donate to either organization.

The American Red Cross is providing shelters and supplies. You can donate online, call 1-800-RED-CROSS, or text the word HARVEY to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

GlobalGiving focuses not only on immediate emergency relief, but also long-term recovery support. They have a two million dollar goal that you can help fund online, either once or monthly.

All Hands Volunteers aides disaster victims by providing on-site teams of volunteers. You can donate online or sign up to be a volunteer.

To donate locally, the Greater Houston Community Fund and Mayor Sylvester Turner have set up the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund.

The Houston Press has created a list of local food banks including: Houston Food Bank, Galveston Food Bank and Corpus Christi Food Bank. While the organizations are themselves affected by the flooding, they will be in need in the weeks to come.

If you live in the area and want to help, Airbnb has set up program to match those in need to shelter with those who have open space in their homes. Boats that can maneuver in high water are also in need. Contact the Harris County Sheriff’s Department to help.

Know of other ways to help? Share your recommendations in the comments below.