A brutal winter storm hit large parts of the central and southern United States, forcing millions to search for the basics to survive – food, water and shelter from record cold weather.
President Biden has declared emergencies in Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana and pledged to send aid. Nonprofits are also working to address the humanitarian crisis created by the storm.
Here is how you can help.
The Dallas Wings, the WNBA basketball team, help raise funds with the American Fidelity Foundation and OurCalling to help those sheltering at the Dallas Convention Center. All cash donations up to $ 6,000 will be matched, organizers say.
The Houston Food Bank collects donations to help feed people. A total of 150 meals can be provided with a donation of $ 50, depending on the organization.
The Austin Disaster Relief Network accepts donations to provide people with emergency housing, gift cards and supplies for short and long term needs.
Providing food to those in need can be difficult, especially when freezing cold strains local energy grids. Organizations that are on the ground and help feed people include the North Texas Food Bank; the San Antonio Food Bank, which serves southwest Texas; and Feeding Texas, which partners with nearly two dozen food banks statewide.
Front Steps, an Austin-based organization that works to end homelessness, is running a fundraising campaign. Instead of “blessing bags, snack bars, etc.”, the group notes that the blankets have a “lasting impact”. The group says acrylic blankets are preferred (wool can irritate damaged skin and cotton easily retains moisture).
The American Red Cross is seeking help from blood and platelet donors. And a blood center in Knoxville, Tennessee is asking for blood donations to help replenish supplies in Texas.
In Lewisville, about 40 km north of Dallas, the Salvation Army is in search of food and supplies, including gloves, towels, soap and moisturizer.
The Homeless Alliance in Oklahoma request donations so that he can operate his day shelter and expand his street awareness efforts. Depending on the organization, she can offer a week’s meal to a person at their day shelter with a donation of $ 4.
The American Red Cross in Oklahoma is asking for monetary contributions as well as blood donations, which the group notes there is a shortage.
The Acadiana Regional Coalition for Homelessness and Housing, which serves eight parishes in the state, is soliciting donations for both its general fund and its emergency shelter fund.
According to the Foodbank of Northeast Louisiana, one in five people in their area experiences hunger. The organization says it can help provide 55 meals with every $ 10 donation.
Before making a donation …
Be sure to research any organization on trusted sites like Charity Navigator and Guidestar, which rate nonprofits based on their efficiency and financial standing. These sites can also show whether the organization’s goals and practices match your values and beliefs. For example, those who want to donate to nonprofits focused on climate change, which is linked to the intensity and frequency of natural disasters, may want to check out Charity Navigator’s list of organizations chosen by experts in environment.
The Internal Revenue Service’s database can tell you if the organization is eligible to receive tax-deductible donations.
After disasters like crippling storms, there is often an increase in fraudulent activity. If you suspect that an organization or person is committing fraud, you can report it to the National Center for Disaster Fraud.