Central Texas wildfires: how you can help

Wildfires that started last week in Texas have killed two people and destroyed over 1,000 homes, 600 of them from one fire in and around Bastrop, and the fires are still going. There is currently no chance of rain.

There are, however, many things you can do to help:

The Red Cross of Central Texas is currently accepting cash donations, and as Black Star Co-op points out, needs volunteers to man the phones:

Please contact Steph via email, at scosmas@centex.redcross.org, and put “Phone Coverage” in the subject line. Make sure to include which shift you can work (8:30-12:30, 12:30-4:30 or 8:30-4:30) and specify which day.

If you live in Austin, you can also drop off donation items, especially “new pillows (desperately), new packages of underwear for all ages, baby food and formula, non-perishable food, and clothing,” at Black Star Co-op and they will bring them to the Red Cross.

If you have Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) training, you probably know what to do already, but you can also contact the Austin Disaster Relief Network to help.

The Capital Area Food Bank is accepting donations of cash and non-perishable food items at several locations.

If you’re going to the Fun Fun Fun Fest Water Olympics, a free event, bring your donations along. They suggest the following items:

Clothing, canned food, bottled water, Tylenol/Advil/pain relievers, baby food, trash cans/trash bags, laundry detergent, socks, dog food, cat food, crates, cat litter, toys, towels, dog beds.

Joshunda Sanders, faith writer at the Austin American-Statesman, put together a short list of faith-based relief groups.

And here’s another good list of donation sites and items to donate from 365thingsaustin.com, a site for activities in Austin.

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