Hurricanes Harvey and Irma By the Numbers

Updated Oct. 13, 2017

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.'” —Fred Rogers

Are You a Helper? Donate Today and Triple Your Impact

To continue providing support to those affected by Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma, the Red Cross needs our help. If you donate today using this link, your donation will be tripled. Support dollars donated, up to $50,000, will be matched by both the Edwardson Family Foundation and the Nick and Susan Noyes Family. We thank both for their incredible generosity.

This fundraiser has been completed. However, you can still use the link above to donate and help those affected by wildfires in California.

Red Cross: donation match

Meet Chicago’s Helpers

“We have received the most amazing calls from people that want to help. One call I received was from a woman who said that she was on disability. She shared that she had wanted to make a gift to the Red Cross, but was waiting for her disability check to arrive. When it arrived in the mail, she immediately called us and made a donation. Her gift was $8 and I only wish I could express the level of joy she had in her voice when she shared how grateful she was to be able to help. She apologized that it was all she could do, but all I could think about was the incredibly deep sacrifice she was making in order to make this gift. It is keeping all of us inspired. Every dollar counts and I’m just in awe of her generosity,” said Erin Craghead, the Red Crosser who answered the phone.

“A few days ago, a teeny three-year-old girl came into the Chicago office with her dad, carrying in her hand a check from her church. When I asked why she was coming into the Red Cross office that day, she said in the most adorable voice, ‘I want to help.’ It took all I could muster not to tear up right then and there! She looked proud as she handed the check to our front desk. Maybe she’ll remember this moment. I always will,” says Catherine Rabenstine, the Red Crosser who welcomed them at the door.

Red Cross: Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma (three-year-old gives donation)

Two girls in Crystal Lake opened a lemonade stand to support the Red Cross and ended up raising more than $800. I opened the envelope and they had included their lemonade stand flyer and a few developed photos of the girls,” says Sara Tews, the Red Crosser who opened the envelope. “I loved that they included these personal tidbits in the envelope with the check — it showed that they really cared about the experience of raising money for the Red Cross.”

Red Cross: Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma (lemonade stand)

These donations of $8 and $35 and $10, and from a surprise lemonade stand, are from the helpers. They’re from the 90-year-old woman on a fixed income who donates $8 because that’s all she can spare. You know it’s pushing her budget to its limit and you sit there, doing your best to hold back tears, knowing she has very little to begin with and is still deciding to give.

Hundreds of thousands of people have been affected by Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma: People like this family, who spent years saving up to build a middle class home and now look at it in ruins. These are people who had to leave everything behind — photographs, keepsakes, family heirlooms — when they were saved from their rooftops. These are people who had to evacuate quickly with children and pets in tow. These are people who have to start over.

People are pitching in their last few dollars to help people they do not know and will never meet. People have lost everything, but you can help. Make it Better is partnering with the American Red Cross to help those in need. We’re excited to announce that, through this site, you can TRIPLE the impact of your donation.

Where does your donation go?

It pays for cots and blankets for people to sleep tonight knowing they have to make recovery plans tomorrow. It will take months for them to get back on track.

It pays for hygiene kits, diapers, and wheelchairs for people who don’t even have a toothbrush.

It pays for 2.4 million meals and snacks.

It pays to transport dedicated volunteers, who leave their families and hop on a plane or in a car or on a bus to get to a hurricane-impacted area to do everything they can to help.

It pays to set up massive shelters and command centers that ensure smooth operation of millions of moving parts.

It pays for the gas that powers the Emergency Response Vehicles that drive through affected areas so people have a hot meal and water delivered to their doorstep while their electricity is still out.

It pays for the technology that makes these systems work together.

And, it provides direct financial assistance to affected families (already $45 million).