When a deadly Arctic blast hit Texas, Austin law student Kenna Titus worried about whether she and her partner could keep herself and the dog warm, and whether friends and neighbors had What they need.
Then came the torrent of pain. An elderly apartment building had no water for a few days. The heating center was closed due to power and water cuts. Child cancer patients were struggling in the hospital and needed food.
“Wherever I go, I just saw someone who is a complete failure,” said Titus, Texas, widely criticized by elected officials from the storm. “They are not prepared. They are not told to be prepared. They have no way of preparing.”
On Wednesday and Thursday, Titus raised money from neighbors online, took the cold road to transport soup, muffins and tacos to the local children’s hospital, and distributed croissants to people in the air-conditioned shelter. , Fruit cup and water.
She said: “This shouldn’t be my job. My neighbor’s job should be to run around trying to find bottled water to give to the children in the cancer ward.” “I’m very happy to do this, and my neighbor is also very happy to do it. But this is simply ridiculous.”
Since thousands of Texans do not have safe shelters, clean water or food, the massive state support has strengthened the efforts of outstanding Samaritans and mutual aid groups to fill the emergency management of record-breaking storms The vacuum left by dissatisfied officials.
Zach Price, who also survived in Austin, said: “It’s not amazing to see people in need, but to see their needs so unsatisfied under such harsh conditions. I mean, I think you must be indifferent, don’t be surprised about it, do you know? It’s shocking to see this, even if it’s not surprising.”
Price learned that his alma mater, the University of Texas, was still charging students for a meal in the dining room, and then he offered to pay for several meals on Twitter.
More donors began to step in and created an impromptu mutual aid fund that provided students with $10 or $20 and supported other Texans in need. When Price lost his power and moved data, he gave his Venmo and Twitter accounts to a friend so that the emergency cash flow could continue.
He said: “I am very happy to be able to help people.” But is a 23-year-old young man with a Twitter account a major food source for some Austinians? “This is a huge problem.”
In San Antonio, the students of the Trinity Mutual Aid Society raised more than $67,000 in two days, and the core organizers have been allocating a net security expenditure of $150.
The central figure, Rachel Kaufman, said: “Trying to decide who should get the funding and who didn’t make a decision is incredibly difficult and morally exhausting because it’s obvious that all these people All deserve help that the government did not provide.” Organizers and collectives.
When local officials received a call from a family of six (including a child with diabetes) who had no food, Kaufman stepped in to provide relief for overdue bills and promised to provide food as soon as it is safe to drive. She listened to someone in the county commissioner’s office entering her information into their system so they could send the information to people. This city is of no avail.
Kaufman said: “Our county officials were unable to provide services to their communities, so they sent it to a group of 20-year-old children who did more for the community than they do now.”
Christina Tan, a Houston organizer, said: “In an ideal world, the government will meet the needs of citizens, and mutual aid will take a more beneficial form: “I don’t like it, please send us $100 because someone has been frozen to death.
In Harris County, Houston, at least 10 people have died due to hypothermia, and hundreds of others have tried to escape the severely cold city due to carbon monoxide poisoning.
Tan said: “I hope it doesn’t have to be this way, but it is inevitable.”
After raising more than $235,000 through the GoFundMe campaign, her team at Mutual Aid Houston campus plans to allocate two waves of direct funding: one to meet immediate needs, such as food and heat, and the other to cover long-term costs, such as explosions. Management, high electricity bills and medical expenses caused by the crisis.
By Thursday, they had received a lot of calls, but they only heard from Houstonians that they could use the Internet, phone signals and power. Tan expects more.
Susana Edith, the founder of Lucha Dallas, started trying to collect tents, backpacks, travel-sized toiletries, hygiene and feminine products for neighbors who were about to leave hotels and shelters, non-perishable Items, water, clothes and shoes.
She said: “We are working hard to prepare for what will happen when the snow melts, just like these homeless people go back to the street.” “Many of them have either stolen or stolen things. Go and be thrown away.”
Temperatures throughout the state were eventually rising, and after days of blocked roads, closed businesses and vacant grocery stores, the situation gradually returned to normal. However, for a world where many people’s worlds have been turned upside down, this crisis is far from over.
Kaufman said: “People are worried that one month from now, when people try to fix their pipes, these incidents still make them default on the bills and we still run out of water.”
“Then what happens when people stop donating?”