Chicago Solar Start-up LuminAID Joins Hurricane Harvey Relief Efforts

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Solar start-up LuminAID partners with relief organization Convoy of Hope to send solar lanterns and phone chargers to families affected by Hurricane Harvey. Through their Give Light Get Light program, they hope to raise 1,000 solar lanterns for families left without power from the storm.

With flood waters continuing to rise in Southern Texas due to record-breaking Hurricane Harvey, solar start-up LuminAID is focusing its relief efforts on families affected by the storm. Unprecedented flooding is pushing people out of homes, drastically limiting safe transportation, and putting many public services to a halt. Many throughout the affected region are without homes and without power. LuminAID is partnering with relief organization Convoy of Hope to send solar lanterns and solar phone chargers to families left without power by the storm.

Through LuminAID’s Give Light Get Light program, the Chicago-based company is hoping to donate 1,000 lights over the next few days. Each Give Light Get Light package costs $29.99 and allows supporters to purchase a PackLite Nova USB solar lantern, and sponsor a matching light that will be distributed by Convoy of Hope. Supporters can also choose to simply sponsor a light for $10 for a family in need. Lights sponsored through the Give Light, Get Light Program will be sent to Convoy of Hope's distribution center for Hurricane Harvey relief and their other relief work around the world.

There are a variety of ways in which LuminAID solar lanterns and solar phone chargers can be a crucial asset for families affected by Hurricane Harvey. While rescue operations begin and extend into the night, the waterproof and floating LuminAID solar lanterns can help rescue workers and citizen volunteers in the efforts to locate and rescue flood victims in unpredictable conditions.

In large shelter areas, handheld solar lanterns can be a welcome comfort for families searching for comfort and discretion. Thousands of individuals have already been rescued, and efforts continue as thousands of people pack into relief centers, often with limited resources. Many large shelters have strict times for lights out in the evening, but individual solar lanterns can allow families to accommodate individual needs and schedules with a range of light settings. The LuminAID PackLite Max 2-in-1 Phone Charger, a solar lantern with phone charging capacity, also allows individuals keep their mobile phones charged even in flood conditions or community centers with limited access to outlets. With charged phones, these families will be able to keep in contact with emergency teams and let loved ones know their safety status.

These portable lights can even be a help for medical professionals working to keep patients safe. LuminAID solar lanterns have already been used in mobile health clinics without access to electricity in Nepal, and could potentially be a boon for hospitals and clinics in Texas struggling in blackout conditions.

Finally, LuminAID solar lights can be a boon for families in affected areas who already have access to the lantern. The flashing mode, depending on the model, can last between 36 and 72 hours on a single charge, helping individuals in need of rescue signal for help.

The Hurricane Harvey relief effort is particularly galvanizing for the LuminAID Team because co-founder Andrea Sreshta grew up in Texas. For her, "Houston has always been home.” Being part of the relief efforts is for her, giving back to her community when they need it most. “Growing up there, I have been inspired by the city's resilience in the face of previous storms and floods and know that the community will come together to get through this one. LuminAID is going to do whatever we can to help those in need of critical supplies, including emergency lighting."

LuminAID has chosen to feature Convoy of Hope as our Give Light, Get Light Partner Charity in these Hurricane Harvey relief efforts due to their exemplary logistics capacities and experience responding to disasters worldwide. Convoy of Hope has a base of operations in Victoria, TX making them well-positioned to respond to this crisis. Currently, Convoy of Hope is distributing supplies to the coastal regions and moving east towards Houston.

Those wishing to donate can do so through LuminAID’s dedicated Hurricane Harvey relief page at http://www.luminaid.com/harvey. There they will be able to participate in the Give Light Get Light project, sponsor lights, and find direct links to related efforts through Shelterbox, Convoy of Hope, and the Red Cross—organizations which are providing a wide range of crucial services for families affected by the hurricane.

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Daphna Gall
LuminAID
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