Compassionate SA: Rallying to Help our Texas Neighbors
In San Antonio, and at SA2020, we believe in working together. We believe that everyone has a role to play, no matter how seemingly small or unexpected. And we believe that when we come together, we can create great change—whether it’s on our community goals or during a historically destructive natural disaster.
Our community proved all of this once more over the weekend. Ahead of Hurricane Harvey, San Antonio organized and prepared for potential damage in our own city. As it became clear that we’d be spared the worst of the storm, our local government and nonprofits turned their focus to helping evacuees and other communities. Here are a few of the ways San Antonians mobilized and, in some cases, got creative to help our neighbors from the coast.
- The City, the Red Cross, and the San Antonio Food Bank prepared shelters and organized supply drives and deliveries, ensuring evacuees would have a place to stay.
- San Antonio Fire Department, in addition to helping locally, sent EMS personnel and task forces to Houston.
- SAWS sent crews to Port Aransas to help restore water.
- When immigrant women and children were stranded at the downtown Greyhound station on their way to locations across the US, the Interfaith Welcome Coalition helped get them to a church shelter. RAICES helped them coordinate calls with family members and travel plans.
- Local animal shelters took in evacuees’ pets, and residents fostered shelter animals to help make room for more furry guests.
- Venture X San Antonio opened their coworking space to displaced businesses and employees.
- San Antonio’s City Council turned their field offices into donation centers, giving residents the opportunity to drop off supplies at a location convenient to them.
- Many evacuees at San Antonio shelters requested movies and headphones to help their kids (and themselves) relax after the chaos of evacuating. Webhead volunteered to collect tech to give to shelters.
We know that working toward our shared vision, made up of big, bold goals, can sometimes seem daunting. But as this weekend reminded us—and as coming days and weeks will continue to show us—San Antonio can handle the daunting. Special thanks to all who have led these efforts. Here are some more ways to stay involved, from giving money to donating supplies to visiting your favorite local establishments for a good cause:
- Continue donating supplies: non-perishable food, water, diapers, baby food, hygiene items, and new clothing. You can take it to San Antonio Food Bank, Catholic Charities, or your district’s field office.
- Donate supplies to organizations taking care of the evacuees’ pets. These include San Antonio Pets Alive and Animal Care Services.
- You can give money to the Food Bank or Catholic Charities to help evacuees here, or give to nonprofits working in Houston and along the coast.
- Donate blood. South Texas Blood & Tissue Center has extended its hours at all donor rooms, 7 am to 7 pm.
- If you have space in your home, consider signing up on Airbnb to host evacuees for free.
- Pinch Boil House—which isn’t even open yet!—will host a plate sale this Saturday with a portion of the proceeds going to the Red Cross.
- Estate Coffee, who keeps the SA2020 team caffeinated, will give 20% of this week and weekend’s sales to the Red Cross.
- 55 (!) local bars are teaming up to take donations (and reward you with a discount cocktail) this Thursday. See them all here.