A fertilizer plan exploded on April 17, 2013, in West, Texas, causing tremendous destruction (including more than 100 homes), injuries and fatalities. Here are some ways you can help:
Make a Donation
Charities that have been Rated by Charity Navigator
4-star National Fallen Firefighters Foundation
The charity’s website says it has set up a West, Texas Fire and EMS Fallen Hero Fund to “accept monetary donations to assist the survivors and coworkers of the fire and EMS personnel who died in the line of duty.” The charity is promising that “all donated funds will be used to assist the survivors and coworkers to rebuild their lives and support the programs and services they will need.”
4-star United Way of Tarrant County
United Way of Tarrant County’s website says it “is accepting cash donations to support the relief and recovery efforts ongoing in West, Texas.”
3-star SPCA of Texas
In response to the explosion, the SPCA of Texas has agreed to take possession of animals in the care of the Humane Society of Central Texas so that the Humane Society of Central Texas can make room to “respond to animals in need [after the explosion], and allow the owners of lost pets to find their family members close to where they live.”
Funds Unrated by Charity Navigator
We list this unrated appeal to support the West, Texas victims, with the information we have been able to obtain about it, to help inform potential donors. However, we caution that gifts to unrated charities may be more risky than gifts to a fully vetted charity.
The West, Texas Disaster Relief Efforts Fund
This is managed by the Waco Foundation, a 501 (c) (3) public charity meaning donations to it are tax deductible.
The fund’s website says, "this Fund is for the sole benefit of the victims and relief efforts of the West Texas Fertilizer Plant Explosion." And the donation page enables donors to the West Texas Disaster Relief Efforts Fund to specify if they want their gifts to be spent on "General Assistance, Victims Assistance or Firefighter Assistance."
Texas Disaster Relief Fund
This is a 501 (c )(3) public charity meaning donations to it are tax deductible.
The charity’s website says, “the Texas Disaster Relief Fund was created in 2005 following Hurricane Rita. The Fund provides assistance to individuals and communities recovering from a disaster. The Fund complements rather than duplicates existing relief resources such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), insurance, and other non-profit groups.”
Other Ways to Help
You may also want to consider other ways to help such as donating blood, signing up to get trained as a disaster volunteer, or volunteering your time or donating to a charity in your local community.
Collectively, we donors have the power to hold these funds accountable for distributing the funds in a timely manner! That’s not to say we don’t want the funds to take enough time to ensure the money is being properly spent, but we also don’t want years to pass before the funds are released.
See our other Tips for Giving in Times of Crisis.