Amid freezing temperatures, nearly half a million Texans remained without power Thursday morning after a record-breaking winter storm pummeled the state’s power grid and left millions without access to heat and electricity. Houston’s Fire Chief Samuel Peña said on Thursday that carbon monoxide poisoning is at an “all-time high” as people attempt to warm themselves with generators, gas heating devices or cars in their garage.
Millions also face water disruption as numerous cities—including Houston, Austin, and San Antonio—are under boil water advisories, and some areas have lost access to running water entirely. Roads remained frozen, making travel dangerous and access to essential services difficult. The New York Times reports that at least 31 people have died since the cold front arrived earlier this week.
As Texans struggle against the bitter cold, many organizations are calling for donations to help address the crisis. Others are calling for volunteers to help distribute critical supplies and transport those in need to warming stations if they feel safe doing so.
Here are some ways to help people suffering from the Texas power outages. (This list will continue to be updated.)
Where to donate money
Mutual aid organizations
Austin Mutual Aid: Austin’s mutual aid fund is raising money to help book hotel rooms—the price of which have skyrocketed in some areas—for city residents stranded without power or shelter amid freezing temperatures.
Feed The People Dallas: The Dalla-Fort Worth-based mutual aid organization is asking for both monetary donations and donations of critical supplies to help support those in need in marginalized communities. They’re also accepting volunteers if you’re nearby.
Para Mi Gente: This San Antonio-based mutual aid fund is accepting donations to help pay for health care needs, groceries, emergency housing and other supplies.
Rice Mutual Aid: This mutual aid fund organized by Rice students in Houston is accepting donations to help Rice community members in need.
Other local groups
The Austin Area Urban League: The local Austin area Urban League is accepting donations to help provide shelter and critical supplies to the housing insecure in the city.
Crowdsource Rescue: Founded amid the devastation of Hurricane Harvey, this volunteer-based nonprofit helps rescue Texans during national disasters and is currently working to help transport vulnerable people to safer locations and deliver needed supplies. The group accepts donations and well as volunteers.
Austin Disaster Relief: The Austin-area network of nearly 200 churches is accepting monetary donations to help provide supplies and shelter to those in need, and is asking for volunteers to help run and transport people to 24-hour Cold Weather Shelters.
Texas Jail Project: Aiming to “empower incarcerated people in county jails by lifting their voices through stories, testimonies, and community building.,” the Texas Jail Project has received reports from detainees in county jails allegedly without power or running water and is accepting donations to help pay for detainee’s phone calls and commissary purchases.
Free Lunch: This Austin-area group works to provide meals within the city’s Esperanza’s Community and is accepting monetary donations.
Christian Community Service Center: This Houston-area coalition of 39 churches has asked for food and monetary donations to help provide community members with food, rent, and utility bills.
The American Red Cross: The Red Cross of Central and South Texas is running shelters and warming centers across the state and accepts donations.
The Salvation Army: The religious organization is helping provide food, shelter and transportation to Texans and is asking for monetary donations as well as critical supplies like blankets and toiletries.
World Central Kitchen: Chef José Andrés’ organization World Central Kitchen is working to provide meals to those in need throughout Texas, including in Austin and Houston, and is accepting monetary donations and volunteers.
Episcopal Relief & Development: The relief and development agency of the Episcopal Church is helping provide shelter and resources to communities in the Houston, Waco, Austin and other areas.
Where to donate food and water
Feeding Texas: The network of Texas-based hunger relief organizations has a searchable database of local food banks you can donate to. Check to see what’s nearby.
Central Texas Food Bank: This food bank accepts food donations at one of its facilities or at one of its partner agencies. It also accepts monetary donations and volunteers.
Houston Food Bank: This Houston-area organization accepts monetary and food donations.
Funkytown Fridge: This organization runs three community fridges across Fort Worth and accepts food and cash donations.
Cloverleaf: This community fridge in Houston is also accepting monetary donations.
For even more options, Eater Austin, Eater Dallas and Eater Houston have compiled in-depth lists of local groups working to help feed people.
Where to donate supplies
Houseless Organizing Coalition: The coalition works with Houston’s houseless community and is asking for supply donations including tents, blankets, sleeping bags, water and food to distribute among the city’s houseless community.
SAFE: This Austin-area shelter that serves survivors of child abuse, sexual assault and exploitation and domestic abuse is asking for donations of drinking water, frozen pizzas, cold and hot cereal, and wipes to its Manor Road children’s shelter. It also takes monetary donations.
Austin Pets Alive: This Austin-based animal shelter is asking for donations of supplies including water, diesel fuel, gloves, hand warmers and flashlights be delivered its Town Lake Shelter. They also accept monetary donations.
Lucha Dallas: This Dallas-based organization is asking for donations of winter gear including jackets, hats, gloves, scarfs, and blankets. It’s also accepting monetary donations to help pay for hotel rooms for those in need.
Cooperation Denton: The Denton-area advocacy group is asking for material donations including batteries, flashlights, clothing and warm weather gear. It’s also accepting volunteers to help distribute supplies.
Front Steps: This Austin-area nonprofit is holding a drive to help provide blankets for the city’s houseless community.
Know of an organization that should be on this list? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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