How to Help Austin During the Cold Weather Crisis
Consider donating time, money or supplies to your neighbors in need
Austin is suffering.
Many of your neighbors have been facing record-breaking winter weather without power, heat and water. Some fellow citizens are already vulnerable because of health issues, they’re older or have young children at home. Others don’t have a home of their own and may rely on charitable organizations, churches and food pantries to provide for themselves and their families. And with the disruption of supply chains, many will need assistance even as temperatures start to warm up in the coming days.
If you are able to help, we encourage you to do so. Here are some organizations collecting donations to help Texans who need assistance right now:
Austin Disaster Relief Network is asking for volunteers to help get people to warming shelters around the city and to keep these resources running efficiently and safely. They have sign-up sheets for various shifts to work at locations around town and a list of shelters that are currently open. They are also looking for Austin drivers with 4×4 or off-road vehicles who can safely navigate the snowy road conditions to transport emergency workers and supplies to sites where they are needed.
The Good Work Austin Community Kitchen is accepting donations to provide homemade food using local ingredients to communities in need. They are currently feeding people in nearby warming shelters with the resources they receive.
The Austin EMS Relief Fund is collecting funds to provide meals for first responders and hospital workers who are unable to go home or find food while working long shifts to keep others safe and healthy.
Austin Pets Alive needs help keeping animals safe, warm and healthy in their shelters. They are seeking supplies including water, fuel for a generator, gloves and hand warmers for staff as well as financial assistance for pet supplies.
Caritas of Austin wants to end homelessness in Austin. Part of their current efforts include recruiting people at home to put together winter care kits with gloves, scarves, beanies, socks, plastic ponchos and hand warmers; snack kits with granola bars, jerky, dried fruit, nuts, crackers, water bottles and Vitamin C packets. They are also always looking to keep their food pantry full and to provide other household items for Austinites in need.
The Integral Care Foundation is focused on services that provide health and well-being to adults and kids, as well raising awareness around mental health, addiction and intellectual and developmental disabilities. They are asking for help to purchase and deliver care packages to those in need. Winter packages include hats, gloves, socks and other essentials. Hygiene kits contain toothpaste, shampoo, soap, deodorant, bandages and more items people need right now. They are also hoping to get coats, sweatshirts and sleeping bags.
These are just a few ways to help. We’ll continue to update this list as the crisis evolves. There is also a Google doc here with a running list of information, resources and more ways to help.