I was at the car wash yesterday for the first time in five months… (Washing my car, washing my hair…these are things I can’t be bothered with.) And while I was there, I met a young couple with an 18-month-old daughter. They had evacuated Houston the day before and were staying with friends in Austin. The house that they own in Houston had been destroyed; they woke in the middle of the night to find a foot of water inside. The wife told me she was looking for an apartment in Houston so they could both get back to their jobs ASAP, but they were having major trouble finding any available apartments in their own city.
(And God bless The Final Touch car wash on S. First street in Austin, Texas….the owner refused their money and told them to come back any time for a free wash. I love witnessing these small gestures of kindness!)
If there was ever a Labor Day Weekend for us to focus less on shopping all the sales and buying stuff, and more on giving and helping, this is it! The flooding in Houston still leaves me breathless. My heart aches for all the Houstonians who have lost a sense of normalcy. This is a horrible, life-altering event for so many people. The simple fact that I have a roof over my head and I’m not living in a stadium with thousands of other strangers makes me feel incredibly privileged…and while we can’t physically enter Houston to help out just yet, there are hundreds of tangible ways to help.
Here are a few that I’ve found…would you comment with others you know about? Austin, let’s rally around our neighbors in Houston, make them feel loved, and let them know that they’re not alone right now.
Ways To Give In Austin
- Eater Austin created a great list of Austin restaurants who are giving a percentage of their profit to hurricane relief work. This is a great list that they’re constantly updating!
- Good Party ATX has an incredible roundup of events, stores, and restaurants that are all giving back this weekend! OMG, this list is so good. Check it out!
- Mayor Adler is asking Austinites to make 6,000 of these welcome kits. It’s a fun thing to do as a group! He even include an instructional video so you know what to include.
- List your house in Austin on Airbnb for hurricane victims. This is an easy way to offer free housing to the thousands of people who are without homes.
- Make a donation to hurricane relief at La Patisserie Bakery and get a free macaron!
- Doing your grocery shopping this weekend? Add $1, $3, or $5 to your bill at HEB. If we all donate, it will add up!
- Barre Code Austin is doing a “HIIT for Harvey” workout class on September 6 at 7 pm. Sign up, workout, and know that the proceeds are going to hurricane relief. (PS: this class is super hard and shows results FAST, so get ready for a great workout!)
- Grab a popsicle this weekend! Goodpop is donating $1 from every popsicle sold.
- Austin Bakes will be doing an epic sale on September 16 with proceeds going to Houston!
- Mint and Maple, and adorable Austin calligraphy and stationary company, is selling this Texas watercolor for $5 as a download. All proceeds go to Harvey.
- On Friday (today!!), 100% of sales from the Yeti Flagship on South Congress go to hurricane relief. If you’ve been eyeing those Yeti ramblers (I have one and use it literally every day…), be sure to buy it on Friday, not Saturday!
- Austin Monthly lists 15 tangible ways to make a difference this weekend.
- The Austin Statesman’s list of companies that are giving back. So many good ones here!
Ways To Give From Anywhere
- Text “Harvey” to 90999 to make a $10 donation to Red Cross.
- Donate to JJ Watt’s flood relief fund. (Psst, Austin residents: Pitchfork Pretty is donating 25% of profits this week….eat up!)
- Click here to donate to The Salvation Army. You can also call 1-800-Sal-Army
- NPR has a big ol’ list of ways to give to Houston.
This is obviously the tip of the iceberg. There are dozens of other ways to give back this weekend! Let me know what you find, and feel free to share it in the comments below.
Prayers and love going out to all my friends in Houston.