HOUSTON — There are a lot of big-hearted people across the country who want to help Texans recover from this devastating and deadly winter storm.
In fact, a spur-of-the-moment relief effort launched Thursday evening on Twitter has already raised more than $4 million as of Saturday.
U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez organized the fundraiser to benefit five Texas relief organizations that are providing food, water and shelter for Texans in need.
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"Team AOC is launching relief efforts for Texas starting today," Ocasio-Cortez tweet on Thursday, linking to the fundraising page. "Our first effort is a partnership w/ 5 Texas orgs getting on-the-ground relief to Texans ASAP. If you're able, please donate here - it'll split your contribution to all 5."
100 percent of the donations will be split between The Houston Food Bank, Feeding Texas, Family Eldercare, The Bridge Homeless Recovery Center and Ending Community Homeless Coalition (ECHO), Cortez said.
As of Friday morning, each would get at least $400,000 – money desperately needed for the hungry and homeless who are still suffering statewide. Those numbers are expected to grow as the relief effort continues and more organizations may be added.
“I’m at a loss for words. Always in awe of movement work,” Octasio-Cortez tweeted.
If you'd like to donate, here's the link. You can also go directly to the organization of your choice's website and look for the donate button.
Ocasio-Cortez said came to Houston this weekend and volunteered at the Houston Food Bank with Rep. Sylvia Garcia.
Former Texas congressman and presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke helped spread the word about the fundraiser on Twitter.
O’Rourke himself recruited volunteers to make wellness calls to vulnerable seniors in Texas to make sure they had everything they needed. His update Thursday said they had called more than 300,000 seniors.
Former HUD Secretary and San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro also gave Ocasio-Cortez's fundraiser a boost on Twitter. Castro’s own fundraiser tripled their goal by raising $150,000 for Feeding Texas food banks, according to CBS News.
The winter storm left millions without power during bitter cold temperatures. At least 20 people across the state have died from hypothermia, carbon monoxide poisoning and fires related to the outages.
The power situation began to improve Thursday, but now Texans are coping with burst pipes, boiling water notices and empty store shelves.
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If you’d like to help Texans recover, here are some more options.