The devastating natural disaster in Houston has stripped people of these basic necessities.

Anthea Levi
August 31, 2017

Hurricane Harvey has been classified as one of the worst storms in American history, with some 30,000 people in need of shelter, and another 450,000 qualifying for federal assistance. Amid the devastating wreckage of the storm (the damage is estimated to cost up to $90 billion), it’s easy to forget about all the basic necessities so many Harvey victims are currently lacking, from soap and Band-Aids to diapers and clean underwear. But of course, these little, everyday things are essential for health and hygiene. Here are four types of items people in Houston desperately need—and how you can help provide them.

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Toiletries

Matthew 25: Ministries brought first aid items and personal care kits (among other supplies) to Houston this week, and the disaster relief organization is asking for more basic necessities, including bandages and gauze, shampoo, toilet paper, sponges, and hand sanitizer. There are donation drop-off locations in Kentucky and Ohio, or you can donate a monetary gift online

Diapers

The Texas Diaper Bank is distributing diapers and pull-ups for babies, as well as adult diapers for disabled individuals and seniors affected by Harvey. You can order from the organization's Amazon Wish Listcoordinate a diaper drive, or send your own boxes directly to the San Antonio-based charity. You can also make a financial donation here.

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Medicine 

Groups like Americares are bringing life-saving drugs and medical supplies to people in shelters who need them. Think insulin for diabetics, asthma and blood pressure medications, as well as tetanus vaccines. You can contribute to their efforts here.

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Underwear

In a video on Facebook yesterday, social worker and Rising Strong author Brené Brown, PhD—who is volunteering at NRG Stadium in Houston—highlighted the dire need for a piece of clothing we often forget to donate: “I’m going to ask you for what we really need, because this is not a community that needs things to be pretty or wrapped in a bow. We need underwear." 

Let's talk underwear! #realtalk #Harvey Here are three ways to give NEW (still in package) underwear. Please keep in mind that we need a variety of sizes for men, women, boys, and girls, including XXL. 1. https://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/wishlist/2O89ZX93OGCSU/ref=nav_wishlist_lists_1 2. Collect new, packaged underwear and mail it to the address below. It’s our local Hillel and they are collecting for us. This is a really great neighborhood or school project. If you’re purchasing, we recommend Hanes or Fruit of the Loom. UFE doesn’t process or give out anything but underwear! Undies for Everyone 1700 Bissonnet St. Houston, TX 77005 3. Give cash and Undies for Everyone will purchase wholesale: https://secure.lglforms.com/form_engine/s/uFpr61ITEItxPeN4Lo9zpA

Posted by Brené Brown on Wednesday, August 30, 2017

The organization Undies for Everyone is accepting financial donations for the purchase of wholesale underpants to distribute in Houston, or you can order from the organization's Amazon Wish List. "It's really a dignity issue. It's about smelling. It's about not getting clean. It's about not getting rashes," says Brown. ""I think we all know underwear is something we take for granted until we don’t have it."