Even though temperatures across Texas are (finally) warming, the devastation caused by this week’s freak winter storm will likely linger for months. As such, New York congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and celebrities like Reese Witherspoon are raising funds to help people in both the short and long term.
On Thursday, Ocasio-Cortez launched a fundraiser to support relief efforts across the state of Texas, and the Houston Food Bank is among the recipients of those funds. The donations will be split among five organizations across the state of Texas, including the Bridge Homeless Recovery Center in Dallas, Ending Community Homeless Coalition in Austin, and statewide hunger relief charity Feeding Texas.
By midnight on Thursday, the fundraiser had raised more than $1 million. Later, Ocasio-Cortez announced that she would be making a trip to Texas in the coming days to “highlight what’s happening on the ground.”
Ocasio-Cortez isn’t the only high-profile person that’s using their platform to raise money for Houstonians. According to ESPN, Baltimore Ravens cornerback Pierre Desir donated 10,000 meals to the Houston Food Bank on Wednesday, despite not having any ties to Space City. “It was just the right thing to do,” Desir’s agent Hadley Engelhard told the publication.
And of course, Houston’s favorite daughter Beyoncé Knowles-Carter pitched in to the relief efforts. In an update posted to the iconic singer’s website, Knowles-Carter announced that she was teaming up with Adidas and Bread of Life, an organization that is providing direct grants to people impacted by the winter weather crisis, to help her home state. Those in need of assistance can sign up via the organization’s Google form.
Meanwhile, celebrities like comedian Jen Kirkman and actress Reese Witherspoon directed her 2.9 million Twitter followers to donate to Houston Mutual Aid, a grassroots organization that’s providing direct relief to people impacted by the storms. On Thursday, the organization announced that it had been overwhelmed by donations, and asked that potential donors hold off for now as the organization processes requests for those who need funds.
Over 4 million homes are without power in Texas. These families need our attention. Sharing some resources of organizations helping the community. Please join me in supporting if you’re able: @feedtheppldfw @atxfreefridge @DFWmutualaid @mutualaidhou— Reese Witherspoon (@ReeseW) February 18, 2021
If you’re looking to donate to other funds, check out Eater Houston’s guide to how to help get people fed right now.