Washington, DC, March 24, 2021 - In the midst of the deadly winter freeze that struck the southern U.S., GlobalGiving made a series of emergency grants to 10 local organizations totaling $180,000 to help communities deal with the devastation and long-term impact of the storm.
Recognizing that many of the communities most impacted by the pandemic were among those hardest hit by the freeze, GlobalGiving acted fast. Flexible, emergency relief funds were sent to vetted nonprofit organizations distributing emergency and long-term assistance to people impacted by the freeze.
GlobalGiving’s partners in Texas and Mississippi are available to share the long-term impact of the storm on their communities—and how they are moving forward. While the winter storm struck in February, the ripple effects continue to be felt more than a month later in communities across the country.
In Houston, Target Hunger CEO Sandra Wicoff describes “an influx of new families who have lost all their food due to power outages, still have no water, or have costly home repairs and exorbitant electric bills that they are struggling to pay.”
Kelly Mott, Director of External Affairs at Mississippi Food Network, said their nonprofit was blindsided by the storm.
“Mississippi Food Network had been preparing a game plan if we had to partially close due to the pandemic; however, never did we imagine that our entire operation would shut down for a whole week due to an ice storm,” she said. “This type of extreme weather event just doesn’t happen in Mississippi.”
Once the roads thawed and Mississippi Food Network was reopened, Mott said her staff mobilized to secure and distribute bottled water through mobile water pantries. She notes that nearly a month after the storm, parts of the Jackson metro area—where more than 80% of residents are Black and many live beneath the federal poverty line—were only just beginning to have their water restored.
It’s a story unfolding across the country: while the winter storm made the news for a week, the far-reaching impacts will be felt for months to come.
After the storm struck their community, the Houston Arts Alliance mobilized. Lauren Hainley, Program Manager for Disaster Services, describes their effort.
“For the first time, a cultural organization is leading this effort in Harris County to ensure our artists, historic properties, libraries, and art institutions are part of a whole community recovery,” she said. “Our cultural community was devastated by the effects of COVID-19 that an additional disaster only makes it more difficult for Houstonians and Texans to return to the quality of life and community we’ve thrived in before.”
Also in Houston, Sandra Wicoff reports that the Target Hunger staff are facilitating multiple drive-thru food distributions each week to feed the growing number of Houstonians that need food assistance.
“We anticipate feeling the ripples of this winter storm over the next 6-8 weeks as families continue to recover,” she said.
To book an interview with Target Hunger CEO Sandra Wicoff, Kelly Mott of the Mississippi Food Network, or a member of the GlobalGiving Disaster Response Team, please email Kristin Wright at firstname.lastname@example.org
Learn more about GlobalGiving’s disaster response approach here.
GlobalGiving is a 501(c)(3) registered nonprofit that makes it safe and easy to support important causes around the world. When a crisis like the 2021 Texas Winter Freeze happens, GlobalGiving quickly delivers funds to vetted organizations that are best-suited to lead immediate and long-term relief and recovery. As part of its mission to accelerate community-led change, GlobalGiving provides tools, training, and support to help nonprofits, donors, and companies increase their impact and make the world a better place. Learn more at www.globalgiving.org.
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Public Relations Specialist