As Hurricane Harvey continues to impact families across this great state, I am amazed and in awe of our military families coming together to help families in need. So many of our local families rallied together to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey, and continue to do so.

Service members from Fort Hood began arriving in Houston last week. About 400 soldiers and 100 vehicles from a variety of units have joined the recovery and rescue efforts in a city that is under water.

More than that, military families have banded together to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey. They set up donation drives. They raised money. They sorted supplies. They gathered goods. They continue to give back in any way they can. It’s just a part of what you do when you are a military family. Your service member volunteered to serve this country, and you find ways to serve your community when the need presents itself — and even when it doesn’t.

Fort Hood families may not have been impacted directly, but they have been touched through the images on the news and those filling their social media feeds.

Many of us may know someone or have friends who know someone who are dealing with the impacts of Hurricane Harvey. One of my old coworkers has been posting pictures of her house; her closet underwater, her fridge floating in the kitchen and boats filling the streets of her neighborhood.

Emotions rush through me when I see those pictures. I am called to help.

Here are a few organizations for you to consider:

Firstly, there is the Red Cross. The Red Cross has launched a massive response to this devastating storm and needs financial donations to be able to continue to provide immediate disaster relief. You can help in a variety of ways, including by calling the Red Cross to find the best way for you to donate.

Another option is Team Rubicon. They were founded in 2010, and “unite the skills and experiences of military veterans with first responders to rapidly deploy emergency response teams.”

You can donate to a local Texas food bank or to Feeding Texas. If you don’t have money to donate, you can always donate your time, or maybe you work for a company that might be able to assist with services. Feeding Texas, formerly known as the Texas Food Bank Network (TFBN) with a mission to lead a unified effort for a hunger-free Texas, is assisting the communities impacted by Hurricane Harvey.

The San Antonio-based Texas Diaper Bank is putting together disaster relief kits. Since 1997, the Texas Diaper Bank has been working to meet the basic needs of vulnerable babies, children with disabilities and seniors.

There are many ways to help. Look to your local churches who also may be raising money or collecting donations for those in need to distribute through another non-profit or a sister church.

When a disaster hits, we are all looking for ways to help. The Better Business Bureau issued a press release “advising people to help as much as they can in the Hurricane Harvey relief efforts, but to do so with caution and make sure their donations get to the people who need it most.” There are several ways you can donate — official websites, links from verified organizations are posted to different social media sites, but beware of fraudulent donation sites and wish lists.

To all our military families — thank you for giving back. Thank you for thinking of others. Thank you for serving the great state of Texas and those communities hit by Hurricane Harvey.

Reena O’Brien is an Army spouse and Herald Correspondent. She lives on Fort Hood.

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