UWW Establishes Fund to Benefit Harvey Victims

You are here

Hurricane Harvey Updates  9/6/17

As of September 6, the United Way Network has raised more than $25.44 million for mid- and long-term recovery efforts related to Hurricane Harvey. 




Hurricane Harvey's Impact


Described as “worse than worst case.” Harvey's torrential rain, devastating winds, and catastrophic flooding has resulted in at least 60 deaths, driven over one million people to evacuate their homes, and caused extensive and widespread destruction.
  • Harvey made landfall three times -- once as a hurricane and twice more as a tropical storm.
  • Cedar Bayou, Texas, on the outskirts of Houston recorded 51.88 inches of rain from Harvey in just under five days, according to the National Weather Service marking a new continental U.S. record.
  • 42,000 + individuals in shelters throughout Texas, and approximately 30,000 in hotels through the transitional housing program – and many more people housed in shelters in Louisiana.
  • According to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), 325,000 Harvey disaster victims have already applied for FEMA assistance, and they expect 125,000 more applications.
  • It will take years for these communities to recover.

Our Response


United Way created the United Way Harvey Recovery Fund to support local communities in Texas, Louisiana and the surrounding areas affected by Hurricane Harvey. As part of our mission to build stronger communities, and to fight for the health and safety of every person in every community, United Ways in the affected areas will continue to raise money locally and respond to emerging needs as appropriate for their community. The national fund will complement those efforts and provide a single clearinghouse for individual and corporate donors who want to impact all affected areas.



AUGUST 30 2017



$1 million from Leonardo DiCaprio’s foundation to help those facing devastating losses, focusing on mid- and long-term recovery

Alexandria, VA – August 30, 2017 – United Way Worldwide announced today that it has established the United Way Harvey Recovery Fund, a national fund which will distribute 100 percent of donations for recovery in the affected areas, community by community, in the months and years ahead. The fund will facilitate the donation process for United Way donors and partners who want to offer financial support to storm victims in Texas, Louisiana and the affected areas. 

The inaugural donation to this newly established fund was from the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation (LDF), which made a $1 million contribution to directly support victims who have been impacted across the region. 

“We are incredibly grateful for the generosity of Leonardo DiCaprio and his foundation,” said United Way Worldwide President and CEO Brian Gallagher. “Responding to Hurricane Harvey requires the best of all of us – and that’s what this gift represents. United Way’s Harvey Recovery Fund will provide much-needed help for the communities along the Gulf Coast where lives have been changed forever.”

Hurricane Harvey made landfall on August 24 near Corpus Christi, TX and is on track to be one of the costliest storms in U.S. history. The unprecedented storm has wreaked havoc on homes and communities across Southeastern Texas and Southwestern Louisiana – producing up to 50 inches of rain in some areas. United Ways in the region are helping residents facing devastating losses from the historic flooding focusing on mid- and long-term recovery.

“United Way and other organizations are doing so much to help the victims of this tragedy. LDF has been committed to climate-related issues and environmental projects since 1998. We support efforts to build climate resilient communities and protect vulnerable wildlife and ecosystems across the planet, and have supported disaster relief and victim funds in the past. We hope others will step up and support the United Way and other organizations,” said LDF CEO Terry Tamminen.

The United Way network of over 1800 United Ways includes 24 directly in path of Hurricane Harvey’s destruction. Local United Ways in the affected areas include:

  • Aransas County United Way (Rockport, TX)
  • Matagorda County United Way (Bay City, TX)
  • United Way Galveston County Mainland, (Texas City, TX)
  • United Way of Beaumont and North Jefferson County (Beaumont, TX)
  • United Way of Brazoria County (Angleton, TX)
  • United Way of Calhoun County (Port Lavaca, TX)
  • United Way of Comal County (New Braunfels, TX)
  • United Way of Greater Baytown Area & Chambers County (Baytown, TX)
  • United Way of Greater Houston (Houston, TX)
  • United Way of Jackson County, Inc. (Edna, TX)
  • United Way of Mid & South Jefferson County (Port Arthur, TX)
  • United Way of Orange County (Orange, TX)
  • United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County (San Antonio, TX)
  • Victoria County United Way (Victoria, TX)
  • United Way of Southwest Louisiana, Inc. (Lake Charles, LA)
  • United Way of the Coastal Bend (Corpus Christi, TX)
  • United Way of Galveston (Galveston, TX)
  • United Way Greater Austin (Austin,TX)
  • United Way Williamson County (Round Rock, TX)
  • United Way of Acadiana (Lafayette, LA)
  • United Way of Metropolitan Dallas (Dallas, TX)
  • United Way of Central Texas (Temple, TX)
  • United Way of Southeast Louisiana  (New Orleans, LA)
  • United Way of Northwest Louisiana (Shreveport, LA)

United Way has a history of serving as the cornerstone for long-term recovery after natural disasters including Hurricane Katrina and flooding in Tamil Nadu, India. United Way is laying the ground work for mid- and long-term recovery in the areas affected by Hurricane Harvey, which is expected to take several years. The United Way Harvey Recovery Fund is just one way the organization will continue the fight for every person in every community.

To donate or volunteer, please go to www.unitedway.org. For disaster help, call 211 or visit 211.org.

# # #