Press Releases: September 06, 2017

United Way Relief Fund Grows to $23.8 Million to Help Those Devastated by Hurricane Harvey

HOUSTON (Sept. 7, 2017) – As the focus shifts to a massive clean-up and recovery effort in the wake of Hurricane Harvey’s devastation of the Greater Houston area, generous companies and individuals continue to donate to the United Way of Greater Houston Relief Fund, raising the total funds raised to date to $23.8 million. Among the most recent contributions, energy company Phillips 66 donated $1 million and Chevron Phillips Chemical, The Friedkin Group, and Williams each contributed $500,000 to the fund. 

To give to the United Way Flood Relief Fund, visit unitedwayhouston.org/flood or text UWFLOOD to 41444.  

United Way of Greater Houston established the fund to respond to the widespread devastation caused by storm-related flooding. One hundred percent of monies raised by United Way’s Relief Fund will be used to help individuals and families with immediate, basic needs as well as long-term recovery needs and services.

“The outpouring of support from generous companies and individuals is deeply appreciated, as the needs are great and the recovery will take years for some families,” said Anna M. Babin, president and CEO of United Way of Greater Houston. “In United Way’s role as the leader of long-term recovery in the Houston area, our work is just beginning. The relief fund will be used in a variety of important ways to aid those impacted by the storm, from case management to guide families in navigating the daunting recovery process, to help with basic unmet needs, minor home repair, mental health services and other support services.” 

Babin added that the majority of United Way’s Harvey relief funds will be spent on long-term recovery efforts, with oversight and funding recommendations provided by a volunteer-led committee. 

Additional major gifts previously announced to the relief fund include $2.5 million from ConocoPhillips; $2 million from the McNair family and Houston Texans; and $1 million each from Anadarko, Kinder Foundation, Lennar Foundation, Macy’s, NFL Foundation, and Technip FMC. A gift of $500,000 each was received from Amegy Bank and ExxonMobil. 

“The response has been so inspiring as donations of all sizes keep arriving from individuals and businesses from around the county,” said Babin. “On behalf of a grateful community and all those most impacted by Harvey, we thank you ---every dollar counts and will be put to work helping those most impacted,” said Babin.  

Babin added that, in times of disaster, United Way serves as the convening organization to bring together non-profit and community partners, as well as civic and government stakeholders from across the Greater Houston area, to coordinate recovery efforts, both assessing the needs and providing support where it is needed most. 

In addition, United Way operates the 2-1-1 Texas / United Way HELPLINE, which is the community’s key information source before, during and after a storm.  2-1-1 is answered 24/7 and call specialists access a comprehensive database of disaster resources that is continuously updated.