August 29, 2017
Helping in Texas 
Many ways to help those affected by Hurricane Harry 
It's hard for many of us to hear about the dire situation in Texas without wanting to help. A few people have contacted me asking for ideas.

A number of reputable organizations are providing assistance to hurricane victims including emergency food and housing, medical care, and rescue. (See list below.) 

Even a few dollars can help.

I'm pleased that firefighters from our very own Contra Costa Fire District are in Texas as part of a specialized Bay Area FEMA Urban Search & Rescue team, based in Oakland. I thank them for their brave service. 

The hurricane impact numbers are changing fast, but here's a glimpse of what we know so far: 
  • Dumped more than 11 trillion gallons of rain on Texas
  • Left more than 13 million people on flood watch
  • Left more than 30,000 people needing emergency shelter
  • Led to at least 9 deaths, more expected
  • Houston and Galveston, Texas hardest hit 
  • Parts of Louisiana and Mississippi on flash flood watch
  • Declared emergency in parts of Louisiana 
  • Even after rains stop, rebuilding will take time 
How to Help

Most relief groups prefer cash donations to shipped supplies because of the huge logistical challenges, but even a few dollars will make a difference. 

Note: It's always a good idea to check an organization's reputation using Charity Navigator or the BBB Wise Giving Alliance, using their easy on-line tools. ( This partial list includes faith-based and secular groups.)

Here are a few ideas:

American Red Cross or at 1-800-733-2767 
Salvation Army or at 1-800-Sal-Army 
Samaritan's Purse or at 828-262-1980
Global Giving or at 1-877-605-2314
List of charities vetted by CNN/Impact Your World.
On the ground, local ideas, also by CNN.
List of charities from the New York Times, with advice on avoiding scams
More local efforts, from ABC13 Houston. 

Every part of the country is vulnerable to natural disasters and emergencies, including here in the Bay Area, and it's reassuring to know that even with our political differences, we tend to come together at times like these to help those in need. 
John Gioia
Supervisor, District One 
Contra Costa County 
11780 San Pablo Avenue, Suite D 
El Cerrito, CA  94530 
510-231-8686 Phone