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Nov 7, 2019

Two Years After Hurricane Harvey: Stories of Hope

Photo courtesy of BakerRipley
Photo courtesy of BakerRipley

In the two years since Hurricane Harvey made landfall, GlobalGivers like you have raised more than $5 million to help residents across Texas rebuild and recover. We’re pleased to share this update on how your generosity  is helping others rebuild homes, implement disaster preparedness strategies, and strengthen resilience in communities across Texas. 

Long-term rebuilding and reconstruction 

Counties along the Upper Gulf Bend bore the brunt of Harvey’s winds. With support from GlobalGiving, Coastal Bend Disaster Recovery Group is providing new homes for eight low-income families whose livelihoods were destroyed in the wake of Harvey. 

Victoria County Long Term Recovery Group continues to make progress relocating homeowners whose everyday lives were turned upside-down during Harvey to a nearby community positioned above active flood zones. The “Hope Meadows” project currently has 15 approved new homeowners. Thanks to their efforts, displaced families in the communities of Bloomington, Placedo, and Dacosta finally have the opportunity to feel secure in their new homes. 

With the help of local volunteer groups and partners, Rockport Hands of Hope has installed storm covers on more than 100 homes throughout Austwell and Tivoli. By reinforcing homes that are at high risk of being damaged by hurricane force winds, their efforts ensure that families are better equipped to face future disasters. 

All Hands and Hearts teams in Coastal Bend have also been hard at work in the Texas summer heat, completing an unprecedented twenty-four homes during a five month period.

Resilience building

GlobalGiving recognizes that reconstruction is just one part of the recovery process. Our partners at Attack Poverty and Urban Harvest have incorporated wellness programming into their disaster recovery work to help communities recover from their losses.

In response to the gap in providing emotional support services for disaster survivors, Attack Poverty's Disaster Recovery team has started an Emotional and Spiritual Support Program which focuses on providing in-home counseling to residents for more than 30 families. By approaching each home repair assessment through an emotional support lens and training construction coordinators in mental health support, Attack Poverty ensures that individuals are able to recover from both physical and emotional hardships that Hurricane Harvey caused.

With the support of GlobalGiving, Urban Harvest hired a Community Engagement Director to more directly serve four Houston-area food deserts experiencing heightened challenges in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. By connecting food access, productive greenspace, economic opportunity, and community development, the new director empowers each community to recover with dignity and build resiliency in their neighborhood. 

Preparedness and mitigation

Texas’ propensity toward hurricanes, floods and other disasters means preparing for these events is a priority. Our partner Harvey Home Connect has expanded its “recovery matchmaking” services used after Harvey to connect homeowners in need with groups working in the area (specifically finding groups that could work within the parameters of the request for service) to be ready to activate in future disasters. With support from GlobalGiving, HHC is building out backend infrastructure to improve their ability to respond and has already expanded to less served counties, including Brazoria and Galveston. The success of these improvements was evident in HHC’s effective, rapid response in the wake of Imelda. 

In collaboration with emergency management experts, the Houston Arts Alliance has designed a program that prepares the arts and culture community for future disasters and teaches artists how to recover their assets in the wake of a flood or another crisis. HAA is also collaborating on mitigation and engineering projects within Houston’s historic theatre district that would reduce risk for this part of the city, Houston's heart of art and culture, from flooding. HAA is emerging as a national leader in disaster preparation for the artist community. Since partnering with GlobalGiving, HAA has been invited to join VOADs (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters), multiple long-term recovery groups, and at the request of the Smithsonian Institution, will be speaking at the Heritage Emergency and Response Training in December 2019 in Washington, DC.

Houston Advanced Research Center is an independent research hub providing analysis on environmental issues for people seeking scientific answers. With support from GlobalGiving, HARC is providing technical research and data that informs the City of Houston’s Climate Action Plan, due out in December 2019. HARC also works with climate scientists on climate risk indicators, together producing first-time data for areas of the region that will support Houston’s resilience plan. This data will be broadly available, and HARC is developing story maps for different regions that illustrate climate risk factors and social impact risks to tell different stories. HARC is engaging partners from Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas on this story mapping project, intended to benefit local communities and demonstrate the real risks associated with climate change and rising heat index.

As residents continue rebuilding their communities, we are immensely grateful for your generous support for each of these programs. Thank you for your decision to fund community-led disaster response efforts after Hurricane Harvey with your cash donation—the smart way to give after a disaster. 

With gratitude,

Kelly + the GlobalGiving Team

Nov 7, 2019

You made a difference for refugees at a crucial moment

Photo from Emfasis Foundation
Photo from Emfasis Foundation

After fighting broke out in northeast Syria last month, conditions for Syrian refugees are as critical as ever. An estimated 180,000 individuals, including 80,000 children, had to flee their homes and communities. The United Nations reports that vital infrastructure has been damaged in the fighting, including clean water sources. Additionally, the onset of colder weather heightens displaced Syrians’ need to escape the violence even further.

We are so grateful for your support at such a crucial moment for Syrian refugees. Your support continues to make a difference to our nonprofit leaders and the communities they serve.

For example, your support is helping our nonprofit partners provide immediate relief to those in need of food, water, shelter, and other basic necessities.

  • Since May, CARE has reached more than 70,000 individuals in northwest Syria with emergency supplies, such as hygiene kits, food rations, cash assistance, mobile health clinics, and clean drinking water. Despite some of their health centers sustaining damage from nearby bombings earlier in the year, CARE is continuing to coordinate with local partners to best assist the most vulnerable survivors, especially women and girls. 
  • In the past year, Peace Winds America has constructed more than 800 durable shelters for Syrian refugees that have fled to northern Iraq (Kurdistan). They partner with the community in this work by training and employing refugees throughout the construction process, offering them the opportunity to gain much-needed income. Peace Winds is also distributing food kits to families, along with water and clothes.

Additionally, your generosity is helping our partners provide important psychosocial support needed to help refugee children begin to heal from the traumas of war and displacement.

  • The UN Refugee Agency reports that more than half of all refugees are under the age of 18. Our partner, Emfasis Foundation, created a PhotoTherapy project in Greece to serve this growing population and provide them with much-needed psychosocial support. Through Emfasis’s work, refugee children have a safe place to express their thoughts and emotions, process their trauma, and find community.
  • International Association for Human Values (IAHV) is responding to high rates of mental illness in refugee children by providing a variety of programs tailored to meet children’s specific mental and emotional needs. So far, IAHV has served 18,000 children through integrated trauma-relief, healing, and resilience workshops. They have also provided 400 children at risk of recruitment by armed groups with in-depth training in human values and non-violent empowerment.

Watch your inbox in the coming months for more stories of how your donations are making the world a brighter place. Thank you again for your generous support of the Syrian Refugee Relief Fund that makes a community-focused response to the ongoing refugee crisis possible. 

Warmly,

Claire Hilton + the GlobalGiving Team

Photo from CARE
Photo from CARE
Nov 6, 2019

There's no place like home

Photo from Fuller Center Disaster Rebuilders
Photo from Fuller Center Disaster Rebuilders

It has been more than a year since Hurricane Florence claimed more than 50 lives and damaged thousands of homes and buildings. News about the recovery process may not make the headlines, but our nonprofit partners are still hard at work, listening to affected communities and meeting the needs of the most vulnerable. 

Here’s how your generosity is making a difference:

Some groups that were left particularly vulnerable after Hurricane Florence include the elderly, individuals with disabilities, and low-income families. Our partner Lutheran Family Services in the Carolinas wants to make sure that everyone has a fair chance at recovery, which is why they have been helping vulnerable survivors move from unsafe living conditions and into temporary housing while waiting for more permanent housing solutions to be found. The organization has used its most recent grant from GlobalGiving to provide temporary shelter assistance to 51 households, consisting of 112 adults and children. Director of Foundation Relations, Melissa Parrish, says this about what your donations have made possible:

“The impact this funding has had on survivors is almost unimaginable. Not only has it assisted in moving them out of terrible situations, such as living in tents, cars or mold-riddled homes, but it has also reminded them that they have not been forgotten.”

Fuller Center Disaster ReBuilders is using your donations and the help of volunteers to rebuild homes for low-income families in New Bern, North Carolina. It recognizes that low-income individuals are often the last to gain any sense of normalcy, and recovery often seems like a “distant vision.” It also recognizes the specific risks that the gutted out homes pose to particular groups like the elderly, who deal with heightened trip-and-fall hazards. As a result, the organization recently restored another seven families in need to their sturdy, new homes. To further this process, GlobalGiving made a grant earlier this year to support the organization’s purchase of construction materials to assist families in navigating the rebuilding process.

Wilmington Area Rebuilding Ministry Inc (WARM) has been hard at work rebuilding six homes for low-income homeowners in three different counties in North Carolina. Not only has the organization worked to make homes livable again by repairing what was damaged by Hurricane Florence, but it has also taken the time to make additional repairs so that homes are safer and more accommodating, including repairs to make homes more accessible to individuals with disabilities and the elderly.

With the giant financial burden of attempting to repair damaged or destroyed housing looming, even more families are unable to replace the household furnishings that made it a true home. Furniture Finders is helping restore comfort and peace of mind by providing much-needed furniture at no cost to those with damaged or destroyed homes. By letting affected individuals select the furnishings they want, Furniture Finders is hoping to restore to survivors a sense of dignity and free up their finances to be used on other essential costs of living. To date, the organization has helped more than 160 families with furnishings and has recently helped renovate apartments for another 100 residents.

Thank you for your incredible support of community-led relief efforts. Your donations have made it possible for vulnerable communities to receive the care and support they deserve. We look forward to sharing more on how our partners are working toward long-term recovery in the future.

Warmly,

Claire + the GlobalGiving team

 
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