By Courtney Runn
The snow has melted, but Texas is still reeling from last week’s historic winter storm. Days of freezing temperatures left millions of Texans without power and water, leading to medical emergencies, burst pipes, house fires, carbon monoxide poisoning, and food insecurity. As the state slowly recuperates, local nonprofits and mutual-aid organizations are rushing to provide storm relief.
In Austin, organizations have focused on water and food distribution, as both needs persist after the city lifted its water-boil notice. Many nonprofits, like the women and children’s shelter SAFE, are in need themselves after storm damage disrupted their ability to serve vulnerable communities.
We’ve compiled a list of seven Austin organizations providing storm relief, and ways you can help.
Austin Area Urban League
Austin Area Urban League launched the #LoveThyNeighborTexas campaign to spread awareness of housing-insecure communities and, so far, has raised more than $1 million. The organization is also distributing water at its headquarters. Donate.
Austin Disaster Relief Network
The Austin Disaster Relief Network has mobilized its 200+ church partners to provide warming shelters, water, food, showers, laundry service, and cleanup. Volunteer or donate.
Black Leaders Collective
A collaborative effort between Central Texas Leaders, the Black Leaders Collective serves to “advocate and amplify the Black community by uniting a coalition designed to take charge and fight for our values.” Donate.
Community Resiliency Trust
The Community Resiliency Trust is partnering in efforts to distribute water and food. The organization is also looking for volunteers who speak Vietnamese, Arabic, or Mandarin to make sure all Austinites are aware of available resources. Volunteer or donate.
DAWA Heals, “a safety net for people of color who are experiencing short term life crisis,” is amplifying local organizations and has distributed $32,000 in emergency cash assistance. Donate.
In its mission to care for people experiencing homelessness, Front Steps has been distributing food, water, and blankets to those in need. The organization is currently accepting bottled water at its downtown headquarters. Donate.
SAFE, a shelter for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, has continued to offer 24/7 support for anyone in need, despite experiencing severe water damage after the storm. The nonprofit is currently asking for help in fulfilling its Amazon and Target wishlists. Donate.