Now that the storm has passed and we start to rebuild, many of you are looking for ways to help.
All four HAR offices will remain closed until Tuesday, September 5 when they will resume normal business hours. None of the HAR offices are equipped or staffed to accept donations of items to help those in need from the impact of Hurricane Harvey.
The American Red Cross also does not accept donated items. They have referred all such donations to its partner, the City of Houston. You may visithttps://www.houstonemergency.org/donations-drop-off/ for a list of City of Houston donation locations. If you have individual items to donate such as clothes, toiletries, etc., you may also consider searching online for a list of shelters that are currently open. They recently consolidated many of the smaller shelters into NRG Center, so you will want to confirm that the shelter is still open and will accept donations of items.
If you are financially able, you may contribute to the Texas REALTOR® Disaster Relief Fund, which has been activated by HAR to assist our members, as well as the general public, who may have sustained damage to their homes during the storms. You may find more information about how to apply for assistance or how to donate to the Fund at:https://www.texasrealestate.com/our-impact/texas-realtors-relief-fund.
HAR has already contributed $250,000 to the Fund, with NAR committing to an additional $1 million. HAR is also currently working on additional ways to support our members, so stay tuned to the HAR.com Facebook page, Twitter account, Five Minute REALTOR, magazine (note that the September issue was sent to the printer prior to Hurricane Harvey), MLS system login messages, and other emails.
RealTracs, which is the MLS for Middle Tennessee, has also opened its Rising Hope Disaster Relief Fund to those who were impacted by Hurricane Harvey. You may find out more about how to apply for assistance from RealTracs at http://disasterrelief.realtracs.com/. How amazing is it that an MLS in another state has been so generous?
REALTORS® have the most giving hearts. CoreLogic, which is HAR’s MLS vendor, has donated $250,000 to the Red Cross. Realogy (Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate, Century 21 Real Estate, Coldwell Banker, ERA Real Estate, ZipRealty, Sotheby’s International Realty and NRT) has also donated $250,000 to the Red Cross, with more expected to be raised in the coming days and weeks. Keller Williams Realty, RE/MAX and others have all donated time, money and resources.
The Florida Association of REALTORS® has already shipped 25,000 shelter kits filled with items like toothpaste, shampoo, deodorant and more to the greater Houston area. Countless associations, MLSs and real estate-related corporations have reached out to us to find out how they can help. Individual REALTORS® have helped rescue neighbors, stranded animals and continue to search for Crystal McDowell from VirginiaMalone & Associates in Baytown, who has been missing since Friday. If you have any information that might help find Crystal, please call the Chambers County Police Department at (409) 267-2500.
This will not be a simple process to restore our lives to normalcy. It is expected to take many months, if not years, to fully recover. If there’s one thing I know about Texas REALTORS though, it is that they are resilient and never give up.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
HAR Chair of the Board