Okay. How blunt can I get away with being here? Because I've tried subtle. I've tried direct. Now I'm going to try brutally blunt.
"How can I donate to help the people in Houston?"
You can't. And you're a fucking moron to ask that question.
Because what the fuck do you think is going to happen to your donation? Do you think the people in Houston can wait while all of your donations are gathered up, all the credit card and SMS and PayPal transactions cleared, then bids are put out for disaster supplies, then the disaster supplies purchased, then the same supplies shipped to the nearest distribution center, and finally distributed to them? The people in Houston need help NOW, moron. No three to six months from now.
Fortunately, you probably DID donate to help the people in Houston. Only at the time, you thought you were donating to help the people in the LAST disaster. Fortunately, you weren't. Fortunately, the Red Cross and Doctors without Borders and every other disaster relief charity in the country helped the people in that LAST disaster with goods that they had already stockpiled. They purchased those supplies with money raised off the disaster before that.
And it wouldn't work any other way.
So, yes. You're already seeing headlines calling the Red Cross a sham, a scam, for collecting your donations for Hurricane Harvey when "none of that money will make it to the victims of Hurricane Harvey." No, moron, obviously it won't. It'll go to replenish the supplies that are being used up for Hurricane Harvey.
Jesus, would you RATHER they waited to help people until they were done with the fund-raising and the purchasing and the shipping? Obviously not. So seriously, shut the fuck up and write a check or whatever. Because Hurricane Harvey is using up an awful lot of the Red Cross's existing stockpile of disaster supplies. Probably all of it. And there will be another disaster. Obviously.
P.S. And yes, they are selling the blood plasma you donate at a hefty mark-up. People in hospitals all over the world need blood plasma and the Red Cross spends cash like nobody's business during disasters. You're not donating blood so that it can be transfused into Hurricane Harvey patients; if that blood isn't already there, they're screwed. You're donating blood so that the Red Cross can afford to respond to the next disaster. If that bothers you, you're an asshole.