The effects of the winter storms that left millions of Texans without power, heat, water and shelter will be felt for weeks, months, if not years to come. Current estimates believe the long-term and financial repercussions will be worse than any other natural disaster we’ve weathered so far. There is a current need to address the immediate concerns of food, water and shelter but there will be a long rebuilding process.
It is been unbelievably heartwarming to receive the hundreds of messages from my audience over the last few days, all with the same question-what can I do to help? I’m sure there will be more ways for people to help, both locally and from a distance, but for now, here are the most trustworthy resources I could find that are helping Texans all over the state. I gleaned these organizations from a variety of sources, including local Texas newspapers and online magazines. I will update this list as needs change or more opportunities become available. This list is by no means exhaustive, but I did try to highlight organizations that are not getting as much focus as the larger, more well-known national organizations.
GENERAL DONATION FUNDS (NOT NEED SPECIFIC)
- Convoy of Hope – provides food, supplies and humanitarian services to those in need
- Direct Relief – ships medicine and supplies to clinics in affected areas
- Matthew 25: Ministries – accept monetary donations and in-kind supplies to help those in disasters and the poorest of the poor
- Family Promise – mission is to help families experiencing homelessness as well as low-income families
- Team Rubicon – an organization made up of veterans that deploy emergency response teams nationwide
- Impact Your World – a clearinghouse of 14 charitable organizations helping in Texas
HELP THE HUNGRY
The following list of organizations are focused on distributing food to those who need it:
- Feeding Texas
- Feeding America (supports a network of 18 food banks in Texas, many of them rural, as well as food banks across the nation)
- AirBnB Open Homes – free temporary housing for those that need it. Can help by donating with funds or offering your home (or part of your home)
HELP REBUILD HOMES & COMMUNITIES
- Habitat for Humanity will need donations in both supplies and monetary donations to help people rebuild their homes. This link is to the national website, and from there you can find more information about where and how to donate.
- Rebuild Texas Fund – committed to recovery & rebuilding of Texas communities after a natural disaster
- Meals on Wheels Central Texas – in addition to offering food, warm blankets, and other assistance for homebound seniors, they are also offering home repair services to those in the general Austin area, particularly seniors, veterans, and adults with disabilities
PLEASE DO YOUR DUE DILIGENCE! There are two excellent websites whose sole purpose is to assess, evaluate and rate non-profit organizations. If you are ever in doubt as to the legitimacy and/or efficacy of a non-profit organization, please go to Charity Navigator and Give Well to do your research and confirm that your hard-earned money is going to the people you wish to serve.