When disaster strikes, the Scouting community rallies to help those in need.
This was true when an earthquake and tsunami hit Japan in 2011, Hurricane Sandy struck the Northeast in 2012, and tornadoes tore through Texas and Oklahoma in 2013.
This week, Chief Scout Executive Mike Surbaugh shared ways that members of the BSA family can help those affected by historic flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey.
Because the situation along the Texas coast is still developing, first responders aren’t requesting in-person volunteers at this time. So while your well-intentioned instincts might be to show up and offer support, it’s still too early for that.
Instead, the best way to help — for those willing and able — is by offering financial support.
How to offer help with food and shelter
To provide immediate support for food and shelter needs in the area, Surbaugh and the BSA encourage you to donate directly to the American Red Cross and/or Salvation Army:
- American Red Cross: Donate online at redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS or text HARVEY to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
- Salvation Army: Donate online at helpsalvationarmy.org; by phone at 1-800-SAL-ARMY; or via mail to: The Salvation Army, P.O. Box 1959, Atlanta GA 30301
How to help those affected within the BSA
You can give to a special BSA fund established to help those councils most affected by the flooding, including:
- Sam Houston Area Council (based in Houston)
- Three Rivers Council (Beaumont)
- Bay Area Council (Galveston)
- South Texas Council (Corpus Christi)
- Alamo Area Council (San Antonio)
- Capitol Area Council (Austin)
Donations can be designated for specific councils or shared among all affected councils. All donations will be used to help rebuild and restore BSA facilities and programs.
“We are working with the leadership teams of these local councils to make sure their staffs and families are safe,” Surbaugh said in a letter to BSA employees. “We are also getting input on property damage at council offices and camps. As the storms continue in the area, we will continuously evaluate the needs of our people and facilities.”