Help Houstonians & your local community with donations, volunteering & more

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Assembled Quarantine Food Boxes | Photo courtesy of Houston Food Bank

Last updated: Monday, March 23, 2020

Lend a hand if you can to others in Houston and your local community affected by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) by donating or volunteering with these organizations throughout the Greater Houston area.

For everyone, social distancing and staying inside are top priority in the efforts to contain the spread of the Coronavirus.

Even so, there is still plenty you can do to help those helping others who are in need of help.

We’ve compiled a list of local organizations that need donations and volunteers to help reach those most affected by the current public health situation. This list will be regularly updated so make sure to check back.

Donate or Volunteer with Local Organizations

  • Houston Food Bank This Houston-area food rescue organization helps provide meals for the community in emergencies and is accepting donations to fund ongoing hunger-relief efforts. In addition to monetary donations, Houston Food Bank needs volunteers to help pack Quarantine Food Kits for Houstonians who do not have reserves of food in the event there is a need.  Click here to volunteer or make a donation.
  • Houston Humane Society Pet Pantry – Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 2pm to 4pm, those who are in need of assistance to feed their animals can complete an enrollment form and present it at the main shelter (14700 Almeda Road), where HHS personnel will come to your car to discuss needs and give you your food. It is not necessary to bring your pet with you to collect food. Click here for more information on enrolling or donating food and furniture to the Pet Pantry.
  • Interfaith Ministries This non-profit operates Houston’s Meals on Wheels program, which delivers more than 1.5 million meals each year to seniors in Harris and Galveston counties, and is in need of financial donations and volunteers. Click here to volunteer or make a donation.
  • Crowdsource Rescue – The Houston-based disaster response non-profit connects volunteers with high-risk Houston residents for no-contact food deliveries. If you need food or can help deliver food, this organization can make sure your needs are met. If you’d like to assist the organization in another way, donations are accepted here.
  • Kids’ Meals Inc. The poverty-stricken are greatly impacted by economic fluctuations, and they need volunteers and donors now more than ever. When businesses change operations and families face reduced hours, illness or don’t have work, it causes a measurable impact on family income and ability to provide for children. This year, Kids’ Meals Inc. will deliver more than 1.2 million healthy meals directly to the homes of hungry children. Click here to volunteer or make a donation.
  • Texas Diaper Bank The Texas Diaper Bank, a nonprofit organization that keeps families healthy by providing diapers, baby essentials, senior incontinence items, food, and education, is taking donations to help victims and their families who are in need of these supplies. Click here to volunteer or make a donation.
  • Southern Smoke Foundation – If you are able, donations are greatly appreciated as 90% of all donations go directly to the Emergency Relief Fund, which goes to supporting restaurant owners and service industry workers who are dealing with closed businesses or significant declines in revenue.
  • Gulf Coast Regional Blood CenterAs the Coronavirus outbreak continues to spread in the United States, maintaining a sufficient blood supply is essential to assist patients in need of treatment. Healthy people must regularly donate to minimize disruptions to the blood supply and ensure blood is available for patients. Since it is the blood already on the shelves that saves lives, if you are feeling healthy and well, GCRBC strongly encourages you to schedule and keep blood donations regularly to help patients in local hospitals. Click here to make a donation.
  • White Oak Music Hall Staff Fund – With the temporary closing of Northside music venue White Oak Music Hall, many of the staff are particularly hard hit by loss of income. The venue has started a GoFundMe page, with 100% of the proceeds going to support the employees. By making a donation, you can also get perks at WOMH like lifetime tickets, commissioned art pieces, sidestage access, or even a cocktail named after you.
  • Another Round, Another Rally – Offering $500 relief grants to hospitality workers who lost their jobs or had their hours slashed in the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak. Also collecting donations from those eager to help hospitality industry workers.
  • Lift Your Spirits – Proceeds from the #LiftYourSpirits campaign will support the restaurant worker relief efforts at the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF). Make a video in which you mix your favorite drink, toast to those affected in the industry, and post it using #LiftYourSpirits, challenging your friend to send a tip donation to NRAEF.
  • One Fair Wage – Providing free cash assistance to restaurant workers, delivery drivers and other tipped workers and service workers who are seeing their income decline during the Coronavirus outbreak. Donations are appreciated and workers can sign up here.
  • The Dining Bond Initiative – Similar to a savings bond, users can purchase a “bond” at a value rate to be redeemed for face value at a future date, helping to bring in much needed revenue for restaurants and other dining businesses. Resources are available to help restaurants sell dining bonds through their website, by phone, or by regular mail.
  • Go Tip Em – Select your favorite or a random bartender from around the country and tip $1, $2, $5 or any other amount to that bartender’s preferred mobile payment service. Use #GoTipEm and help spread the word. Bartenders and servers can sign up here.
  • Backline – The mission of this organization is to connect music industry professionals and their family members with a trusted network of mental health and wellness providers for musicians and music industry workers, as well as their families. Donations are also appreciated.
  • Sweet Relief – The financial assistance organization for musicians and music industry workers has a donor-directed fund that can help provide funds for medical expenses, lodging, clothing, food and other vital living expenses. Donations to the Sweet Relief fund can be made here.
  • Equal Sound – A collaboration of organizations aiming to provide financial assistance to musicians and music industry workers are accepting applications and donations, as well as volunteers to help grow their mission. Click here for application, donation, and volunteer information.
  • Freelance Co-op – If you are a creative freelancer who has been adversely impacted by the COVID-19 virus, you can apply for temporary assistance through the Freelance Co-op fund. Currently accepting donations and partners to help fund and assist the growing number of assistance requests.
  • Leveler – This peer-to-peer tool allows for salaried workers to distribute funds across a database of freelancers, service industry and gig economy workers impacted by the Coronavirus crisis. As a donator, you will be assigned a group of ten people and are able to evenly distribute your donation, as well as repeat the process as many times as you wish.

Get Help

Is your ability to work affected by the recent city-wide closures regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19)? Are you in need of help?

Check out the organizations below for more information or to see if you qualify to receive assistance.

  • Crowdsource Rescue – The Houston-based disaster response non-profit connects volunteers with high-risk Houston residents for no-contact food deliveries. If you need food or can help deliver food, this organization can make sure your needs are met. If you’d like to assist the organization in another way, donations are accepted here.
  • Houston Humane Society Pet Pantry – Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 2pm to 4pm, those who are in need of assistance to feed their animals can complete an enrollment form and present it at the main shelter (14700 Almeda Road), where HHS personnel will come to your car to discuss needs and give you your food. It is not necessary to bring your pet with you to collect food. Click here for more information on enrolling or donating food and furniture to the Pet Pantry.
  • Southern Smoke Foundation Founded by Chef Chris Shepherd in 2015, Southern Smoke is a nonprofit 501c3 foundation created to raise funds for charitable purposes, principally to provide funding to individuals in the food and beverage industry who are in crisis. To date, Southern Smoke has donated more than $1.6 million—both directly to people in need via the Emergency Relief Fund and to organizations that represent the needs of people in the restaurant industry. What’s more, if you’re in the service industry and have had your job affected by the Coronavirus, the application process is completely anonymous. Only Southern Smoke staff will see an application in its entirety. Click here to make a donation. Click here to apply for relief.
  • Texas Workforce Commission If your employment has been affected by the Coronavirus (COVID-19), apply for benefits either online at any time using Unemployment Benefits Services or by calling TWC’s Tele-Center at 1-800-939-6631 from Monday through Friday between 8am to 6pm.

Additional Resources

Here are helpful places where you can find updates, information, advisories, and best practices.

Local

Click the links below for the latest information, news, and recommendations from trusted local and regional sources. 

National