Here’s How to Help Texas Right Now

Texas residents are in need of aid after a rare and devastating winter storm. Here are some quick and effective ways to help.

It’s hard not to notice what’s going on in Texas right now. A rare snowstorm and unusually cold weather earlier this month left millions without power, heat and running water. By Feb. 18, nearly 600,000 homes and businesses were still without electricity, the result of the Lone Star State’s independent power grid failing under the frigid conditions of the storm.

Millions of Texans have been advised to boil their water for safety. Pipes have been bursting, and many Texans don’t know the tricks to thaw frozen pipes. The situation is, to say the least, dire. Interested in helping but not sure where to start? Here’s how you can make a difference.

What You Can Do To Help

From donating to mutual aid funds and local food banks to volunteering your time with on-ground work, there are lots of ways you can help the people of Texas, with or without leaving your home.

Volunteers pass out plates of food during a water distribution event at the Fountain Life Center on February 20, 2021 in Houston, Texas.

Donating to mutual aid funds throughout Texas is a surefire way to help alleviate some of the destruction caused by the winter storm. Mutual aid funds are organizations that exchange resources and services on a voluntary basis. They’re often utilized during times of disaster relief, economic strife and social justice movements.

Currently, mutual aid funds in Texas are prioritizing food distribution and disaster relief to those hit the hardest by the storm. You can donate to mutual aid funds throughout Texas through Venmo or on their websites.

Feed the People Dallas Mutual Aid

This Black/Latinx female-led collective organizes mutual aid to communities throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area. Donate directly to their Venmo account, @feedthepeopledallas, or on their website.

Donate Now

Mutual Aid Houston

Mutual Aid Houston is a BIPOC-led abolitionist collective that works to boost mutual aid efforts within Houston. Donate directly to their Venmo account, @mutualaidhou, or on their website.

Donate Now

Austin Mutual Aid

This Austin-based mutual aid group is collecting food donations at 310 Colorado Street, as well as raising money to help book hotel rooms for Austin’s unhoused population. Donate directly to their Venmo account, @austinmutualaid.

Donate Now

Para Mi Gente San Antonio

Para Mi Gente San Antonio works to keep the citizens of San Antonio sheltered, clothed and fed. Donate directly to their Venmo account, @pmgmutualaid.

Both the unhoused and housed populations of Texas need food. Major cities throughout Texas have multiple local food banks and organizations that are distributing food to Texans in need.

Good Work Austin

In Austin, Good Work Austin’s Community Kitchen helps distribute meals to those in need.

Donate Now

Austin Disaster Relief Network

Jason Parish, a volunteer with the Austin Disaster Relief Network, delivers water to Beth Placek on February 19, 2021 in Austin, Texas.

This disaster relief organization buys gift cards and pays for emergency housing, transportation and supplies for people affected by weather-related incidents.

Donate Now

Austin Area Urban League

Additionally, the Austin Area Urban League helps provide emergency shelter, food, clothing and other supplies for the region’s unhoused population.

Donate Now

Staff Meal Dallas

In Dallas, Staff Meal Dallas is providing complimentary meals from local restaurants to people impacted by the storm.

Donate Now

North Texas Food Bank

The North Texas Food Bank operates a huge food distribution network for local food pantries and other food-related organizations.

Donate Now

The Stewpot

This group is dedicated year-round to helping Dallas’ homeless and at-risk residents. It provides emergency meals to unhoused people sheltering at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in downtown Dallas.

Donate Now

Houston Food Bank

Texas Struggles With Unprecedented Cold And Power Outages

This food bank, a certified member of Feeding America, was founded in 1982. It raises money for meals for those in need throughout the Houston area.

Donate Now

West Houston Assistance Ministries Food Pantry

West Houston Assistance Ministries Food Pantry provides people with their basic needs, from food to water to shelter. Personal care items and baby essentials are also offered when available.

Donate Now

Heights Interfaith Ministry Food Pantry

This ministry-based food pantry also helps deliver meals to families in need throughout Houston.

Donate Now

San Antonio Food Bank

The San Antonio Food Bank serves southwest Texas and works to alleviate hunger in the area. Each week, the group provides assistance to nearly 60,000 people.

Donate Now

The Society of Saint Vincent de Paul, Southwest Texas Council

One of the longest-running charities in the area, the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul, Southwest Texas Council, feeds, houses and clothes those in need. The group works with 55 conference sites where people can receive help.

Donate Now

Get Up Community Center Food Pantry

Helping those in need for the past 16 years, the Get Up Community Center Food Pantry fights hunger in Universal City, Tex., and its surrounding areas.

Donate Now

The following groups have a lot of experience getting help to people in disaster-afflicted regions. These trusted charities know how to mobilize resources and put money to work.

The American Red Cross

The American Red Cross feeds, shelters and provides support to those struck by disaster. Texas has multiple Red Cross chapters to which you can donate, including the American Red Cross of Central & South Texas, the American Red Cross Texas Gulf Coast Region, and the American Red Cross North Texas Region.

Donate Now

The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army of Texas pledges to meet the needs of all humans without discrimination. Their locations also serve as warming centers.

Donate Now

Volunteer in Person

Volunteers load cases of water into a car during a water distribution at the Astros Youth Academy on February 20, 2021 in Houston, Texas.

If you live in Texas and want to volunteer in person, food banks and other organizations need people to help distribute funds and foods.

CrowdSource Rescue

CrowdSource Rescue is working to help senior citizens affected by the dangerous temperatures. The organization needs volunteers to help deliver food and other supplies to this vulnerable population. Sign up to volunteer.

Sign Up

Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center

This regional center seeks blood donors, since the winter weather caused thousands to skip their donations for the month. Sign up for an appointment.

Sign Up

Mercy Chefs

Mercy Chefs has deployed to Dallas to feed the population with delicious hot meals. They’re looking for volunteers to help in the distribution. Sign up to volunteer.

Sign Up

Although much work still needs to be done for the people of Texas to get back on track, your contribution can go a long way in helping with this monumental effort.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published on Reader's Digest