It’s been hard to go about business as usual with the winter storm reports coming out of Texas. Due to unprecedented low temps — like…seriously low…Michigan–low temps in a state that is 100% not prepared — many Texans are currently without electricity in temperatures below 20 degrees.
We’ve heard reports of people going to bed in freezing houses, dressed in any coat they can find (it’s Texas, so we’re not talking full puffer coats like folks in Chicago wear), burst pipes flooding homes, and water shortages. In fact, many communities are under orders to boil their water because water levels are dangerously low and unsafe to drink — that is, if they even have running water right now.
Tara, who works behind-the-scenes at TME, is from Texas originally, and has friends and family affected by the storm. “A little snow,” she says, “should’ve been fun! They should’ve been able to sled, snowball fight, build a snowman and get on with their lives. Instead, my family has to boil water — those that have it — and some still don’t have power. One of my friends gathered water in the bathtub before the water went out, and this morning she was trying to decide whether to warm up a little to wash her face…or if that would mean her family wouldn’t have enough water to drink. It feels like the year 1802 for fuck’s sake.”
It’s boggling my mind. I can’t even imagine.
So. If you can help, please consider doing so. The best (and fastest) way to help right now is by donating to a few organizations who are actively working on the ground in Texas.
Mutual Aid Groups & Grassroots Organizations Providing Winter Storm Relief In Texas
Texas Mutual Aid Funds – There are several mutual aid groups that have quickly mobilized to help. Not only are they accepting donations from residents, but they’re doing things like booking people experiencing homelessness into hotels to get them out of the cold, distributing hot meals and beverages, and even handling medical care. You can donate to right now on Venmo and help someone live through this week:
NOTE: Mutual Aid Houston (venmo: @mutualaidhou) is NO LONGER accepting donations. They are now focusing on distribution. That said, they asked if we would please consider donating to the following organizations:
— Crowdsource Rescue (@cs_rescue on Twitter) is a 100% volunteer organization using next-generation technology to quickly connect professional first responders and vetted civilian rescue teams with people in the community who need help after disaster strikes. They’ve been distributing food, water, generators and heaters to people without power or water.
— Houseless Organizing Coalition (@HocHtx on Twitter) is a revolutionary coalition fully operated by BIPOC organizers building dual power within Houston’s unhoused community. They are currently distributing supplies and addressing needs for those in their houseless community.
— West Street Recovery (@weststreetrecovery on Instagram) is a horizontally organized grassroots non-profit organization which aims to use efforts toward recovery after Hurricane Harvey to build community power.
Austin Area Urban League – This organization has started a #LoveThyNeighborTX campaign. Donate, then share on social with the hashtag, encouraging others to donate as well. This organization is focused on finding shelter, food, water and clothing for the housing insecure.
Front Steps – Information on where people can go to find shelter from the cold is constantly changing. Front Steps is trying to both keep its website current with the latest information, AND is also actively asking for donations of cash and blankets. Donate cash here.
Do you have an AirBnB in Texas? Consider donating it for emergency housing. More information here.
For those of you who have also inquired about Meredith…she and her family are hanging in there (that’s her daughter, scooping up snow to boil). She’s gone through a “range of emotions” over these past few days. Like many of us, she’s both baffled and angry at how Texas ended up in this situation in the first place. Once the state of emergency is over, an accounting must be made. “But”, she says, “I want to focus on the good. My friend who had pipes burst in her home (similar to my own) had neighbors rush to help. I have other friends who have willingly given up scarce bottled water without a second thought to those in need. My friend, Beth, in particular has spent precious battery power sourcing sleeping bags, motel rooms, etc., for those experiencing homelessness. There’s a beauty in this willingness to help others. It gives me hope. We will weather this storm, literally and figuratively. In the meantime thank you to everyone who has reached out to see how we’re doing. The future is uncertain in terms of our home repair and such — but we are so very fortunate. Stay safe and don’t forget your mental health in all of this.”
Stay safe, Texas.
Now…let’s donate, Gang. If you can.