Direct Relief, Houston Food Bank, Save the Children, Operation Homefront and United Way of Greater Houston were selected for their active roles in providing critical supplies of food, water, medicine, shelter and other basic necessities to residents in the most impacted areas. Each organization features an extensive local network providing critical support to people in the region.
'We hope our collective donation to the five organizations makes an immediate impact for those who need help the most, while our hearts and prayers continue to go out to everyone involved,' Carnival Cruise Line president Christine Duffy said.
In addition to the pledges of $500,000 from Carnival Cruise Line, $500,000 from Carnival Corp.'s charitable arm, The Carnival Foundation, and a matching $1m from the Micky and Madeleine Arison Family Foundation, Carnival Cruise Line will give passengers the opportunity to donate to relief efforts when checking in for their cruises. Carnival Corp. and its global brands are also encouraging employees to support the recovery while matching some individual donations.
Direct Relief is working with community health centers and clinics throughout the affected areas, addressing urgent needs including diabetes and high blood pressure.
Houston Food Bank is greater Houston's largest food donation organization and a member of Feeding America, the nation's largest non-governmental domestic hunger relief organization. It estimates more than 80,000 people in the area will be displaced until after Thanksgiving and need assistance.
Save the Children's efforts include distribution of infant and toddler supplies such as cribs and hygiene products and providing child-friendly spaces offering safety and support throughout the recovery.
Operation Homefront provides support to the more than 300,000 military families living in the affected area. Services include food assistance, home repair, temporary housing expenses, car rental or repair, replacement clothing and baby care items. Operation Homefront is a longstanding and ongoing charity partner of Carnival Corp., Carnival Cruise Line and the Carnival Foundation.
United Way of Greater Houston is focused on the region's long-term recovery. It assesses the needs of the impacted communities and addresses those needs with social service providers. Its emphasis is low-income individuals and families, seniors and people with disabilities.
Individuals wishing to donate to relief efforts can do so directly via www.directrelief.org, www.houstonfoodbank.org, www.savethechildren.org, www.operationhomefront.org and www.unitedwayhouston.org.