September 20, 2017
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How you can help the people of Houston

By: Katherine Minkiewicz
September 1, 2017

With Hurricane Harvey making history as the storm brings the single largest amount of land rainfall at a whopping 51.88 inches and flooding 1,800 square miles of land in Harris County, Texas, according to a New York Times report, the Red Cross is out in full force to help the many victims of this massive tropical storm.

To help support Hurricane Harvey refugees there are various ways you can donate, such as making a monetary donation to the Red Cross by visiting or by donating blood at your local Red Cross center (the nearest Sonoma County center is located in Santa Rosa on Aero Drive, which is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.).

As reported by CNN, the South Texas Blood and Tissue Center needs over 2,000 units of blood, especially for O positive and O negative.

Food, clothing and toiletries are also needed for refugee centers and such donations are being taken by the “Feeding Texas” donation center, which is partnering with local food banks so everyone around the country can donate. The Salvation Army is also accepting similar donations. There are two Salvation Army locations in Santa Rosa, one at 93 Stony Circle and the other at 1020 3rd St.

However, pets are also in need of aid and the Humane Society of the United States and the ASPCA are conducting search-and-rescue efforts for lost or stranded pets, as well as relocating animal shelters. 

Both organizations are asking for monetary donations, which can be made by going to or

Yet with disaster comes crime and in a Nixle report, the Rohnert Park Department of Public Safety is warning people of donation scams, saying, “If you decide to donate to the relief efforts, make sure it is a charity you know and trust. The FTC suggests verifying charities through the Better Business Bureau…” And to “be alert to emails, phone calls and social media posts asking for charitable contributions.” 

So far locally, one Cotati resident, George Barich is donating over $100 to the local Red Cross.

“I hope Sonoma County rises to the occasion,” Barich said of the need for everyone to take action and donate to those affected by the hurricane.

With over 30 suspected or confirmed deaths, the hurricane has made its path of over a billion dollars in destruction to Louisiana and is expected to ease into a category one tropical storm by late Wednesday night.