How to Help Texas — Where to Donate to Benefit the Homeless, Incarcerated, and More

Sophie Hirsh - Author

Feb. 18 2021, Updated 3:47 p.m. ET

How to Help Texas
Source: Getty Images

East Austin residents push a car out of the snow on Feb. 15, 2021 in Austin, Texas.

This week, 2.8 million Texans faced power outages for several days, amidst freezing cold temperatures following Storm Uri. Because the state has its own power grid, and that grid is not equipped to handle freezing temperatures, the sudden snowstorm left Texas in a state of emergency. As of Thursday, Feb. 18, power has been restored to some areas, but many Texans are still struggling. How can we help Texas?

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There are many local organizations and volunteers working to help those affected by the power outage. If you’d like to help by making a donation, here are 10 Texas-based organizations in need of funds.

Austin EMS Relief Fund

how to help texas
Source: Getty Images

Drivers detour around a water pipe repair crew after a snow storm on Feb. 18, 2021 in Fort Worth, Texas.

Donations to the Austin EMS Relief Fund are being used to purchase meals for medics and provide relief funds to the medics and their families who have been affected by the storm.

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Austin Mutual Aid

Austin Mutual Aid is working to help provide shelter, food, and other necessities for homeless Austin residents. The organization is accepting donations through a GoFundMe fundraiser and via the Venmo accounts @austinmutualaid and @austinmutualaidhotels. If you live in Texas, Austin Mutual Aid is also accepting in-person donations of toiletries, socks, and other necessities at the donation center at 207 West 4th Street, Austin.

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Austin Pets Alive!

Austin-based animal rescue Austin Pets Alive! is accepting donations to pay a plumber to fix its pipes (which were destroyed by the storm) and restore running water, ensure there is enough food and water for the animals, and “continue saving lives no matter the circumstances.”

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Austin Area Urban League (AAUL)

The Austin Area Urban League (AAUL) fights for equality for African Americans and underserved residents in the Austin area. This week, the AAUL launched the #LoveThyNeighborTX campaign to raise money to provide Texans in need with shelter, food, water, clothing, and more amidst the power outages.

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CrowdSource Rescue

Volunteer-run CrowdSource Rescue is dedicated to helping senior citizens facing freezing temperatures this week. The organization is using donations to help transport seniors without heat to safe and warm locations, and to deliver food, water, and other necessities to seniors in need. 

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Ending Community Homelessness Coalition (ECHO)

The Ending Community Homelessness Coalition (ECHO) is an organization with a goal of ending homelessness in Texas. You can donate directly to ECHO, or check out ECHO’s list of other organizations that are in need of donations (both financially and via wish lists) this week.

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Houseless Organizing Coalition

The Houseless Organizing Coalition is a BIPOC-run coalition working to help Houston’s houseless community, and the group is using donations to distribute food, warming supplies, and other necessities to those in need. The Houseless Organizing Coalition is also organizing donations of canned food, heating supplies, hand sanitizers, and other supplies from Texas locals. You can direct message the organization on Twitter for drop-off information. 

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Faith-based Christian organization OurCalling is working to cure homelessness in Dallas County. Dallas Homeless Alliance President and CEO Carl Falconer told The Texas Tribune that OurCalling is managing a temporary homeless shelter for those in need this week, and donations will help run the shelter.

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The Salvation Army of Texas

The Salvation Army of Texas is working to provide relief, essentials, and warming shelters to Texans in need amidst the storms and outages.

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Texas Jail Project

The Texas Jail Project advocates on behalf of people incarcerated in Texas county jails. Many jails across the state have been facing power outages, frozen pipes, poor sanitation, no running water, and no hot food this week, as reported by HuffPost. The Texas Jail Project is distributing donations to incarcerated people’s commissary and phone accounts, to incarcerated people’s families, and to support the organization’s volunteers.

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