Austin hospitals run out of water and rely on generators. A high-rise with low-income seniors will go 100 hours without electricity, break critical plumbing, and the entire city will be able to boil water – provided you have the electricity to do so.
Tens of thousands of Austin residents are starting their fourth day without electricity in freezing temperatures, and people across the country are looking for workable ways to help. The coming days, weeks, and months will explore how this happened and how epic leadership has failed at all levels – but we’re not there yet.
Below are verified ways you can donate money, donations, and volunteer your time to local organizations helping Austinites survive this unprecedented week. As we recover from this historic storm, we will continue to control the needs of our community and keep this story updated.
Nice job Austin – Nice job Austin worked directly with restaurants to bring people thousands of free meals and says they will continue to do so after the storm. Donate here.
Austin / Travis County EMS – Donate a meal to local rescue workers here.
Tankfest – Revolving around its core mission of teaching children to swim, this nonprofit will be in East Austin on Saturday, February 20th, preparing and serving meals to all community residents in need. Until further notice, all donations to Tankproof will be used for the Winter Storm Uri relief efforts to improve food security in Austin. Donate and learn more about February 20th meals here.
Austin Mutual Aid – Austin Mutual Aid is helping Austin’s most vulnerable populations get into homes during this winter storm. Venmo @austinmutualaid or @austinmutualaidhotels. (Note the “s” at the end of the hotels.) The group is also looking for drivers with all-wheel drive vehicles and experience in driving on black ice. Donations of clothing for cold weather / winter gear, hand warmers, blankets, tents, and groceries (both perishable and non-perishable) can be made through the emergency pop-up at 207 W. Fourth St. More information here.
Goods and services
Marianella house – Several of the organization’s former clients have lost power and are emerging from the crisis at Casa Marianella. Immediate food donations for bread, meat, milk, rice, fruit, eggs and bottled drinking water are required in the facility at 821 Gunter St. Call 512-385-5571 between 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. for more information. On a note, we have attempted to donate money directly and will update this story accordingly.
Rebekah Baines Johnson Center – Many seniors have been stuck in their apartments since the power outage began on Monday and cannot take the elevator out of the 16-story skyscraper. RBJ’s pantry, Serafina, is looking for donations that can be made on the ground floor of 21 Waller St. Shelf-stable proteins (canned tuna, chicken, etc.). uncondensed soup; and other items that do not need to be cooked are among the requested items.
Austin heat centers – Local heat centers are still looking for volunteers. The city currently uses CapMetro buses to transport people to the rescue centers, but people are still required to drive and occupy the centers. Login here.