Tourism Cares’ tips for supporting Texas
August 28, 2017
NORWOOD, MA–August 28, 2017 – As the travel and tourism industry sends best wishes and charitable support to Texas communities devastated by Hurricane Harvey, Tourism Cares encourages those donating to keep the longer term recovery in mind, as well as tourism itself.
“All our eyes and hearts are with Texas, and we all want to help,” said Mike Rea, CEO of Tourism Cares and an expert in disaster recovery and philanthropy. “The immediate needs are dire and demand immediate response – that is always clear. Yet at this moment it’s also important to consider how your donations can help the longer term recovery of the tourism destinations we know and love.”
Rea and Tourism Cares, the nonprofit dedicated to advancing the travel and tourism industry’s social impact to help people and places thrive, have developed and refined disaster recovery best practices by leading programs in response to Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, the 2015 Nepal earthquake and through other projects dating back to the Southeast Asia Tsunami.
Tourism Cares is in contact with Texas travel and tourism industry officials assessing damage to Houston, Rockport, Port Aransas and other destinations, as they consider the best ways for the industry to assist the recovery.
At this vital time for coastal Texas communities and when the bulk of charitable donations are made in response to a disaster, Tourism Cares offers these tips for effective disaster giving. No matter the amount donated, the underlying message is to diversify disaster giving.
- Give to more than one charity. Just like any other investment, spread your funding to more than one organization, with different goals for each.
- Give to recovery as well as relief. Remember the long recovery phase that comes after a disaster. The urgent relief phase often gets the bulk of attention and funding, but don’t forget about recovery, which is often far longer, harder and more expensive. Recovery done well also requires different kinds of organizations and capacities.
- Fund local organizations, too – and those causes already close to your heart. It doesn’t take much time to find qualified charities to support, and the research can be inspiring and unifying.
- Save some of your giving for later. No matter how much you plan on giving, take some of it and set it aside for year-end holiday giving. The picture of local needs will be very different at that time, allowing new choices for making an impact, even with a small contribution.
Given these principles, here are some immediate options for consideration:
- For relief: the Central Texas Red Cross and Southern Baptist Disaster Relief
- For relief and children: Save the Children is working with families and disaster shelters, and Driscoll Children’s Hospital was in the path of the hurricane and will have needs as well.
- For recovery and local support: stay in touch with Tourism Cares and also local destination marketing organizations and CVBs, as well as the Mayor’s relief fund at the Greater Houston Community Foundation. The Center for Disaster Philanthropy is also a resource.
- For a personal focus on recovery: think of your favorite causes, whether it be the environment, health care or education. A major disaster spawns needs across the community and you can focus your help on an area of interest you already have.
The Tourism Cares community fully supports all those affected by Hurricane Harvey and encourages the industry across the country to aid these communities in need.
About Tourism Cares: Tourism Cares, Inc., a US 501(c)(3) public charity, advances the travel industry’s social impact to help people and places thrive. We unite the industry to make a greater impact on shared priorities, and to help each company fulfill its giving goals. Our members include leading travel associations and companies, together helping destinations in need, supporting our workforce, and improving our corporate social responsibility. Learn more at TourismCares.org and @TourismCares.
Resources from the Texas Office of the Governor, Economic Development and Tourism:
- Texas Tourism Current Travel Safety Information
- The State of Texas Hurricane Preparedness
- Texas Coastal Evacuation Routes
- Texas Road Conditions or call toll free (800) 452-9292
- National Weather Service Hurricane Harvey Safety Tips and Resources
- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Weather Radio and Emergency Alert System Changes
Helpful social media accounts:
- National Weather Service
- Texas Department of Transportation
- Texas Tourism
- Office of the Governor
- Texas Parks and Wildlife
- Federal Aviation Administration
- Texas Historical Commission