Unprecedented winter storms have blanketed Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana causing bitter cold temperatures, with Texas facing the worst of it with widespread power outages throughout much of the state.
President Joe Biden has declared a state of emergency, which makes people eligible for federal assistance. However, the need for help is immediate for many people as they struggle to find shelter, food and warmth in these dangerous freezing conditions.
I am calling on everyone who is able to please send aid in whatever form you can, many organizations and groups require monetary assistance, whereas others accept donations of other kinds. Please if you are able, take the time today and read this list, find a group that you would like to help and donate if you can. If you cannot donate, please share the information of these groups far and wide so we can provide assistance to those in need.
Donate to a mutual aid fund, such as Mutual Aid Houston, Austin Mutual Aid or Feed the People Dallas. These three groups are working to provide housing, food and other support systems to those in need, according to their websites.
Donate to national organizations, such as the Salvation Army, which provides shelter, food and other necessary items to those in need throughout Texas.
Donate to or volunteer with disaster relief organizations like Crowdsource Rescue, which has been activated to help those in Texas.
Help animals in need by donating to organizations such as Austin Pets Alive!, SPCA of Texas and Operation Kindness. These groups needs heating pads, Styrofoam coolers, dog beds, heat lamps and monetary donations, according to their websites.
Support local journalists as they respond to the crisis and get the word out by donating to a GoFundMe for the Austin American-Statesman, the Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
Participate in AirBnB's "Open Homes" program by either opening up your spare space to those in need if you live in Texas or by donating.
In Austin, the area Urban League has started the #LoveThyNeighborTX campaign to raise money for hotel rooms, food, water, clothing and other basic needs of the housing insecure communities.
Mercy Chefs is providing hot meals, clean drinking water and USDA Farmers to Families grocery boxes in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.
Austin small business Free Lunch is making deliveries of home-cooked meals, blankets, hand warmers and hygiene kits to the Esperanza Community residents, a state-sanctioned shelter/campsite in the city.
Dallas area organizations Austin Street Center, OurCalling, The Stewpot, Union Gospel Mission and Oak Lawn United Methodist Church are pooling funds to help pay for temporary shelter for those in need.
Lucille's 1913 Community Kitchen is preparing and distributing meals in the Houston area.
Caritas of Austin also helps those experiencing housing insecurity in the Austin area. You can support their work by making a monetary donation or ordering items from their Amazon wish list to be shipped directly to the center.
The Coalition for the Homeless of Houston/Harris County is supporting warming centers throughout Houston and Harris County.
Save the Children is helping storm-damaged child care and early learning centers in Texas recover.
The Dallas Wings, the WNBA basketball team, is helping raise money with the American Fidelity Foundation and OurCalling to help those people sheltering at the Dallas Convention Center. The organizers say that all money donations up to $6,000 will be matched.
- Feeding Texas has a comprehensive list of food banks across the state, searchable by zip code.
The Acadiana Regional Coalition on Homelessness & Housing, which serves eight parishes in the state, is seeking donations to both its general fund and its emergency hotel shelter fund.