For the last few days, Houston and surrounding towns have been devastated by the flooding and strong winds caused by Hurricane Harvey. Sadly, the rain continues and it is not expected to stop for at least a few more days.
As in all major natural disasters, our government agencies step in to provide aid. However, their outreach is constrained by resources and laws that limit their authority. Thus, many non-governmental organizations which are not for profit and voluntary citizens’ groups step in to fill the gaps and needs.
If you are interested in making a donation, here are a few travel related companies that you can donate thru:
American Airlines – American Airlines has been a partner with the Red Cross for many years. You can donate to Hurricane Harvey efforts via the AA/Red Cross webpage. In exchange for donations, American offers miles to their AAdvantage members. In this particular case, from August 25, 2017 through September 24, 2017, AAdvantage members can earn 10 miles for every dollar donated to the Red Cross with a minimum $25 donation.
United Airlines – United Airlines has teamed up with leading disaster relief organizations to provide aid to those impacted by Hurricane Harvey in Texas. MileagePlus members who give to the American Red Cross, AmeriCares, Airlink or Operation USA through United’s fundraising page can receive up to 1,000 bonus miles. In addition, United will match the first $200,000 raised.
Alaska Airlines – Alaska Airlines has donated $100,000 through the Red Cross Ready 365 program. In addition, Alaska is partnering with four organizations – the American Red Cross, Airlink, Airline Ambassadors and Angel Flight West – to get relief workers to airports served by Alaska in Texas at no charge. If you’re an Alaska Mileage Plan member, and want to donate miles, you can do so via the Alaska Charity Miles pool, which supports disaster relief.
Marriott Hotels – Members of our Marriott Rewards®, Starwood Preferred Guest ® and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® loyalty programs have the option of donating points for contributions to the American Red Cross and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. Members donate millions of points each year in support of charitable organizations like the Red Cross which align with Marriott’s community engagement strategy. Marriott will match point contributions* through October 31, 2016.
* Marriott states that restrictions may apply.
AirBnB – AirBNB has launched a portal where those in need of somewhere to stay and those who can offer space for free can sign up. All service fees are waived for those affected by the disaster and checking in between August 23, 2017 and September 01, 2017.
Other non-travel related organizations you can donate directly to are:
Making a donation is not about getting anything in return other than the satisfaction of helping someone in need. It doesn’t matter which way we choose to donate, what’s important is that we give a helping hand to our Lone Star State brothers and sisters.
Disclaimer: This post does not constitute an endorsement for any of these programs but rather options to assist with hurricane relief donation efforts.