I’m sure you’ve heard that Texas is really struggling right now, so I wanted to give a bit of a life update on how things are going down here.
In my area we started having unprecedented low temps on Saturday, and then on Sunday into Monday we got some freezing rain and some snow. And everything has gone downhill from there. The temperatures have not risen above freezing since then, and they aren’t supposed to until Friday or Saturday. In addition, we’re supposed to get more freezing rain and snow before tomorrow morning (I’m writing this Tuesday evening). Things are so bad that they’ve already canceled school for the rest of the week in our district.
But it’s not the snow creating all of the problems. The real problems are resulting from the fact that it seems that Texas wasn’t adequately equipped to handle all the demands on the power grids. So now there are 4 million people without power, which is obviously very dangerous with the record setting low temperatures for our area.
I have several close friends (most of y’all probably know a couple of them well) that have been without power for way too long. I’m talking 36-48 hours now without power. Their pipes are freezing, their gas is shutting off periodically, and the interior of their homes is in the 30s. Some neighborhoods are fine (my neighborhood has been one of the lucky few), some are experiencing rolling blackouts to try to conserve power, but other neighborhoods have outages that have gone way beyond “rolling” and things are getting critical for these families.
Sadly, the news is reporting that there is no promise for when the power will come back on. In fact, elected officials have told everybody to not expect anything to change for at least a couple more days. It’s all terrible.
Please join my family in praying for all that are experiencing these power outages. Pray that people are able to withstand the outages and of course that power gets restored as quickly as possible.
UPDATE: As of Friday morning power has been restored to many, although there are some that are still shockingly without power. The main problem now seems to be that as homes are starting to thaw out, pipes are bursting all over the place and thousands of homes and businesses are flooding. To further complicate things, grocery stores don’t have much food (if any), gas is hard to come by, and many homes don’t have water (and some have to boil water if they do have it). Please continue to pray.
HOW TO HELP
In addition to prayers, there are many ways to help. If you are local, I know that many churches are communicating via social media letting people know what kind of supplies they need. I also know that the mayor of McKinney has set up an e-mail system where e-mails are being sent out for various needs. For example, an e-mail was sent out that requested a space heater for an elderly cancer patient, and they were able to fill the need quickly as a result of the e-mail. UPDATE: After e-mailing email@example.com yesterday, I received a reply this morning. Right now the e-mail is actually set up for you to tell what items/services you have to offer. They take that information and match it to needs that they’ve heard about. If local, you can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to get put on the volunteer e-mail list if you have anything to offer.
When scrolling instagram last night, my friend Bridget shared that The Family Place in Dallas needs help. A pipe burst at their emergency shelter and they are having to move 123 women and children to a new location. The Family Place has been helping victims of family violence in North Texas since 1978. They provide everything needed to help victims become survivors, and now they need our help! You can donate HERE.
And although not local to me, I had a college friend (shout out, Kallea!) that posted a very easy way to help on Facebook. This is for Oklahoma, but you can go HERE (this is NOT an affiliate link) where you will find an Amazon wish list that will ship directly to a church in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Just make sure you choose City of Hope Outreach c/o Jon Maust’s Gift Registry Address as the shipping address. They are handing out all items that they receive, and I know these items are blessing the people in the community that need them immensely. I’m not sure if Tulsa is having power outages now, but when they started the Amazon wish list, it was to help the homeless that were being exposed to these dangerously low temperatures. If anybody knows of Amazon pages set up like this for different areas in Texas, please share!
UPDATES as of Friday 02/19:
Genesis Women’s Shelter – Genesis Women’s Shelter is another fantastic organization that was created in order to give women in dangerous situations a way out. Their mission statement is to provide safety, shelter and support for women who have experienced domestic violence, and to raise awareness regarding its cause, prevalence and impact. The shelter had pipes burst in their facility, so they are in dire need of donations right now. You can donate directly HERE.
McKinney Little Free Pantry – The McKinney Little Free Pantry meets local food needs immediately in my community. Grocery stores here are super low and kids are home from school, so the food needs are extremely high right now. Furthermore, needs will only be increasing as people struggle to find temporary housing after being displaced, pay for the damages incurred at their homes, and deal with lost wages as a result of their businesses being closed. You can support them HERE (scroll down to bottom right of page) or you can shop their Amazon wish list and have the products shipped directly to them. The Amazon page might say “Sanchez Charities”, which is correct.
If any of you have suggestions for other ways to help, please leave information in the comments! I would love to have a large list of different ways for people to help.
So many prayers for everybody to stay safe and stay warm. Lots of love.