The stories and photos I’m seeing in the wake of the Texas storm, some from close friends, are shocking. Right now, all 254 counties in Texas have been hit, with 2.5 million Texans still without power at the time of publishing. Many of them are are living without water, heat, or working cooking appliances, making plenty of homes inhabitable.
We can save analysis of the causes and blame and pass-the-buck misinformation (plus a big rant about the failings of leadership and deregulation) for another time. Right now, this is not a red/blue issue, even though we’ve been conditioned to see everything that way for the past few years.
This is a human crisis, and we want to help.
The Dallas News reports a rise in hypothermia cases, as well as carbon monoxide poisoning as a result of residents trying to stay warm. And yet Newsweek reports that ERCOT states power may remain out for “an indeterminate amount of time.” The need is urgent.
Here are some of the better articles and lists of resources I’ve found to help Texans right now. Choose whatever feels right to you, and give what you can.
Keep in mind that while many of these organizations focus on the homeless population, with so many homes becoming uninhabitable right now without heat, electricity or water, even families with homes will benefit from your support and generosity.
Of course, don’t forget friends in Louisiana, Oklahoma, and other states impacted by the 2021 winter storms as well. Hopefully these links will lead you to others that are helpful.
Ways to support the Texas winter storm victims right now
Austin Mutual Aid was recommended to me by trusted friends, Leander, Texas resident Jill Krause, and West Lake Hills resident Laura Mayes. Austin Mutual Aid’s GoFundMe campaign for Austin is raising money to book hotel rooms, and provide food, water, and other supplies through Saturday or beyond, if needed.
Feeding Texas, a division of Feeding America, is accepting donations that directly feed residents through local food banks.
The Red Cross has a page dedicated to helping Texans find safe shelter. There’s a donate link at the bottom (but NB it’s not apparent whether that donation is earmarked directly for the Texas relief efforts)
Sunrise Homeless Navigation Center Amazon Wishlist is a fast, easy way to order essential supplies, from paper food boats to help them distribute food, to care package items like hand warmers, gloves, hats, and first aid/toiletry items for individuals.
Feed the People Dallas is a Black-led, ally-funded collective providing mutual aid to Black & POC communities in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and is raising money for immediate needs.
The Maximizing Hope crowdsourced fundraiser on Give Butter is purchasing hotel rooms, food, and hygiene items for the homeless population around Austin.
Other lists of organizations that need your help
Austin Echo has a terrific list of links to organizations collecting coats, pantry items, emergency funds and more.
The Texas Tribune has a comprehensive list focused on resources across the state, with suggestions like:
- Donate to The Way Home, as advised by the Houston Sheriff’s Office Homeless Outreach Team. They work with a coalition of 100 partners including nonprofits, government agencies and faith communities, supporting Houston, Pasadena, Harris County, Fort Bend County, and Montgomery County.
- Haven for Hope is one of 7 shelters in San Antonio and is accepting donations
The Austin American Statemen has a terrific list of resources for the Austin area, including:
- The Austin Area Urban League’s #LoveThyNeighborTX campaign is an emergency donation drive for the housing insecure communities of Austin.
- You can Donate a Blanket through this drive, with links to shops like Amazon and Bed Bath & Beyond that you can ship if you’re not in town.
- Donate to Free Lunch, a year-old meal support program, which is currently preparing soup and other foods as well as purchasing blankets, hand warmers, and hygiene kits to distribute to an at-capacity camp for those without homes.
12News has a list of ways to help, broken down by housing, supplies and health. They’ve got links to four different Amazon wish lists to allow anyone to purchase essential items to be distributed.
If you yourself need help, shelter, supplies, or know someone who does, please visit the comprehensive listings on The Texas Tribune which lists warming centers, shelters, transportation and more for counties across Texas. Or look to your city’s local news station websites, like Amarillo’s KFDA 10 CBS affiliate, which should have a comprehensive listing of support for residents.