Looking outside – or at the thermostat – it’s hard to believe that whatever you want to call our February Freeze/SNOVID-19/Snowmageddon/Snowpocalypse/Elsa’s Revenge ever happened. My kid was blissful in shorts this week and I’m sure he wasn’t the only one.
Some of us were lucky. We weathered the storm with teeth chattering in cold houses without a trickle of water. It wasn’t fun, but with power and sunshine, things bounced back. (Our outdoor plants and yards? Yeah, not so much.) We’ll probably never take a hot cup of tea or coffee for granted again.
Many more of us are dealing with the mess and frustrating challenge of repairs and insurance claims. And we’re all dreading when those electricity and water bills show up.
A lot of San Antonio is hurting. After the impact of COVID closures and jobs lost, last week’s storm was a punch no one needed. If you’re looking for ways to help, here are a few nonprofits and organizations that are working to help our fellow San Antonians get back on their feet after the storm:
An emergency fund started by the Morgan’s Wonderland Inclusion Foundation to assist citizens recovering from the storms, 100% of the proceeds donated here will benefit three nonprofit organizations who are always on the frontline helping those in need: SAMMinistries, the San Antonio Food Bank and Haven for Hope. The goal is to raise $3 million and together, we can make it happen.
No matter what the crisis, the San Antonio Food Bank always steps up. Since the pandemic began, they’re feeding more than 120,000 people a week. And of course, the cold weather and the supply disruption it caused only increased the need. One dollar donated provides seven meals and they always need volunteers to help distribute food (safe, socially distanced opportunities are available, too!). Read here for more about how they’ve responded to COVID and what you can do to help.
If you were in grocery lines after the storm, you saw baskets filled with diapers and wipes. Any mom can tell you how quickly those necessities seem to disappear and how much it can drain your budget. The diaper bank works to help fill that diaper gap for families in need. You can donate to them directly on their site and even deliver in-kind donations to them (a great way to pass along diapers when your little one jumps from one size to the next). And if you want to wear your love of Texas and helping others on your sleeve, check out these cute sweatshirts and tees that support the Texas Diaper Bank courtesy of Alamo City Moms and our sister sites across Texas.
Another program that steps in to help every time there’s a need, the Salvation Army works to feed and shelter those in need, as well as provide emergency assistance (rent/mortgage, utilities, food) to people suffering from financial hardship because of the storm and the pandemic.
While we didn’t have large traumas or an increased need for blood during the storm, no one was able to get out and donate. With the cancellation of blood drives during COVID-19, then regular donations being impossible with the weather, our supply is critically low. The South Texas Blood & Tissue Center (STBTC) desperately needs donations. STBTC needs to collect an adequate blood supply for more than 100 hospitals in 48 South Texas counties. They depend on volunteer blood donors to make this happen and we all depend on that blood supply when we’re in need. Blood is perishable and there is no substitute, but the great news is we can all lend a hand by making an appointment and donating today. Donors can schedule individual appointments, allowing for social distancing, and there are donation centers across the city, making it convenient to pop in and share this lifesaving resource.
SAISD Foundation is helping district families recover the storm. The foundation’s goal is to raise $100,000 to go directly to SAISD families who have been severely impacted by the storm and are in need of food, clothing and other necessities to get back on their feet. The SAISD Foundation supports investments in San Antonio ISD (SAISD) that benefit the more than 48,000 students and teachers across the 90 schools in the district, touching families across San Antonio.
Like so many others, the shelter suffered storm damage. A pipe burst in the shelter causing the ceiling to collapse. For the women and children who rely on the shelter and its services, getting the shelter back to 100 percent as quickly as possible is vital.
Looking for somewhere else to support? The San Antonio Zoo has an emergency fund to help cover the expenses they incurred during the storm and you can help other animals by supporting the Animal Defense League of Texas and the San Antonio Humane Society, who took in animals in need during the storm found by Animal Care Services during the storm.
If you’re looking for other ways to help, check out our COVID-19 post. Every one of those efforts is still ongoing and each organization stepped up to help during the storm, so your support is needed now more than ever. And while it’s not storm-related, help is needed with COVID-19 vaccinations at the Alamodome. After two shifts, volunteers will receive the COVID-19 vaccine. To register, volunteers are asked to sign up for the Texas Disaster Volunteer Registry and become a member of the Alamo Area Medical Reserve Corps (you’ll see it on the volunteer registry under the Bexar County dropdown). Once you’re approved, you can sign up to lend a hand.