Due to the winter storm bringing single-digit temperatures, and estimated 13 million people in the state of Texas are without water and power. With families and stores running desperately low on supplies, there are a few ways that others can get involved in order to help out. Below is a list of seven ways you can help those affected.
1. Give Blood.
The American Red Cross is attempting to get blood to those who critically need it. Because of the freezing temperatures, many are cut off from receiving blood if they need it. Jessa Merrill, spokesperson for the Red Cross explained in a statement,
“Paralyzing winter weather across most of the U.S. this month has challenged not only the collection of lifesaving blood products but also the distribution to support patients in need. Icy roads and precipitation have challenged the ability of many blood providers including the American Red Cross to get lifesaving blood products to hospitals in impacted areas—especially in Texas”.
Find a blood drive near you by clicking here.
Front Steps, an Austin-based organization working to end homelessness, is running a blanket drive. This is especially valuable since many are left without ways to heat up their home.
Getting food to people in need can be difficult, however organizations that are on the ground and helping feed people make it easy to get involved. The North Texas Food Bank and the San Antonio Food Bank, help provide food to residents of southwestern Texas.
4. Money Donations
The Dallas Wings, the W.N.B.A. basketball team, is helping raise money with the American Fidelity Foundation and OurCalling to help those people sheltering at the Dallas Convention Center. All money donations up to $6,000 will be matched, organizers say.
5. Don’t Forget The Animals
While many people are suffering right now in Texas, there are thousands of animals that are displaced and in need of a home or support from a local shelter. AustinPetsAlive! is a good organization for those looking to help out animals that are currently suffering. The group needs heating pads, styrofoam coolers, dog beds, heat lamps and monetary donations.
If you live in Texas or nearby and aren’t affected by the winter storm there are major ways to help out. One in particular is to participate in AirBnB’s Open Homes program by either opening up your spare space to those in need or by donating.
With frigid conditions and chilling temperatures that dip below zero degrees overnight, cities all across the state have opened emergency warming shelters in churches, gyms, and furniture stores, where those without can come find shelter and rest. Many of these shelters are in need of volunteers to help work shifts or to give transportation. Organizations such as SARAH are a great place to volunteer your time.
Our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by the storms.