Hurricane Harvey: LBJ Alumni Share Volunteer Opportunities and Relief Efforts | LBJ School of Public Affairs | The University of Texas at Austin

Hurricane Harvey has ravaged the Texas coast, leaving thousands of people in need. Many LBJ School alumni have shared ways to help. Please check out the following volunteer organizations and relief efforts.

We will continue to update this page as we receive information from alumni.

General Volunteer Opportunities

  • LBJ alumnus Johnie Jones oversees a nonprofit called Volunteer Houston. Please visit their website if you would like to volunteer in Houston.
  • LBJ alumnus (MPAff ’03) TJ Costello is pointing LBJers to the Rugby Relief volunteer group. They are accepting volunteers to collectively help rebuild the aspects of our community members' lives that were damaged or lost. Any volunteering or donation is greatly appreciated. They will also aid in finding folks who can help host someone displaced. Visit this website or e-mail Justin Pidgeon at rugbyrelief@gmail.com.
  • LBJ alumnus and Harris County Commissioner for Precinct One Rodney Ellis is sharing updates and volunteer opportunities on Twitter.

Donate

  • LBJ alumna (EMPL ’15) and EMS Director for Fayette County (La Grange, Texas) Sharon Muzny says hundreds of homes and countless belongings have been lost. Families are in need of gift cards to replace many essential items. Please call the Fayette County Recovery Hotline at 979-968-1809. Clean-up assistance will likely be needed once the areas are cleared and safe to enter. 
  • Alumna LaTanya Flix works at the Greater Houston Community Foundation; they have set up a relief fund to which you can donate at ghcf.org/hurricane-relief/.
  • The UT Longhorn Center for Community Engagement, where alumna Virginia Cumberbatch is a director, is collecting goods for the Austin Diaper Bank, the Central Texas Food Bank, and Counter-Balance ATX. Visit their website for drop-off location address and more information on specific needs. Though there is an immediate need to send things by end-of-day Friday, Sept. 1, the center will be collecting for several weeks.
  • The Central Texas Food Bank is mobilizing to respond to the needs of those affected by Hurricane Harvey. They are preparing shipments of emergency food and hygiene boxes that will go to the areas where the need is most acute. Below are some ways to help. If you have questions or need additional information, contact Ellen Weaver at 512-684-2118.
    • Donate funds to help food banks provide these emergency supplies.
    • Sign-up for a volunteer opportunity and keep an eye on their website for an updated list of off-site drop sites.   
    • Needed Supplies:
      • Non-Food Items: mouth wash, large or small deodorant, soap (either bar or liquid), shampoo, paper towels, paper plates, plastic cutlery, wet wipe/baby wipe pack, ziploc bags
      • Food Items: creamy peanut butter, squeeze grape and strawberry jelly, black beans (canned/cooked), rice (cooked), chunk light tuna in water, beef stew – tab can/pop-top can

Shelters in Need

  • LBJ alumnus and Harris County Commissioner for Precinct One Rodney Ellis shared news of a new shelter at NRG Park. To volunteer or donate, please contact volunteer@bakerripley.org. He is continuing to share updates on Twitter.

Additional Resources

  • LBJ alumnus Jeff Stys (’95) is an available resource to organizations that might need help with disaster response or recovery. Contact him at jstys@att.net.
  • If you need to aid anyone in finding shelter or resources, please direct them to Austin 3-1-1 or call Austin 2-1-1 for information on food and shelter relief.
  • Ways to help from Austin Mayor Steve Adler’s office
  • Donate blood: Blood donations are sorely needed in Austin. Make an appointment to donate blood. 
  • LBJ alumnus and Texas State Representative Gene Wu is also sharing resources and updates on Twitter.