Helping Houston: How to Make Your Donation Count

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With inland flooding devastating the Houston area in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, many of our Chicago neighbors are looking for ways to provide charitable support.

As the Chicago region’s community foundation, we are proud to provide our support through a grant to the Greater Houston Community Foundation, dedicated to serving the Houston region. The Foundation is administering the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund, established by Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner to accept relief donations for victims affected by the floods.

All contributions to the Fund are tax-deductible.

In the aftermath of Tropical Storm Allison in 2001, Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and Hurricane Ike in 2008, the Greater Houston Community Foundation played an important role in addressing both immediate and long-term needs. Partnering with nonprofits and local governments, GHCF helped gather and distribute financial resources to agencies providing direct relief.

In addition, GHCF helped companies provide aid to their employees who had suffered damage from the storms—establishing eligibility requirements, managing the grant application process, and distributing grant payments in accordance with IRS guidelines. Their experience with disaster relief funds enabled employers to relieve employees as quickly and efficiently as possible.

For another charitable giving option to support immediate crisis response, the Trust has also provided grant support to the American Red Cross, working to provide shelter and disaster relief to individuals and families displaced by Hurricane Harvey and the ongoing flooding.

In times of disaster, community foundations often play a central role in helping those who have been affected recover and rebuild for the long term.

That’s according to a feature in Washington Monthly on the role of community foundations in disaster recovery.

From tornadoes tearing through Oklahoma City, to wildfires blazing across Arizona and California: the nation’s community foundations have stood as stalwart supports when crisis disrupts daily life for residents of their region.

“Because community foundations like ours are deeply invested in our communities, we are positioned to play the long game in the wake of disasters,” reflect the three CEOs featured in the article. “We have learned how to coordinate with the first responders and crucial disaster response organizations like the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army to provide needed short-term aid. But our real value comes later, as we partner with government, faith-based organizations, and nonprofits to identify solutions that help our communities rebuild and heal.”

“That work may not often make headlines. But, over time, it makes our communities whole again.”


If you have a donor advised fund at The Chicago Community Trust, you can recommend a grant to support recovery efforts in Houston by logging into Instant Impact.