From an Italian opera singer serenading his quarantined neighbors to people in Madrid cheering for health care workers from their balconies, the world is coming together during these uncertain times. In Canada, people picked up groceries for elderly neighbors and one jeweller even offered free earrings to anyone who dropped off a food donation. And like the rest of the global community, Texans are doing their part as well, from donating to worthy causes to helping keep their friends, family and neighbors’ spirits up.
While our news feeds are being bombarded with fear-inducing updates on COVID-19, we want to take this time to share positive stories of Texans who have stepped up and supported their community, and ways you can help during this time.
Texans who have provided aid to food banks
Beloved Houston Texans superstar J.J. Watts and his new wife have donated $350,000 to the Houston Food Bank; that single donation will provide more than one million meals to those in need. Like Watts, the Houston Astros’ Lance McCullers Jr. donated $10,000 to the cause; Alex Bregman pledged one thousand quarantine food kits to students who depend on free lunches; and George Springer has donated $100,000 to the employees at Minute Maid Park.
Like the state’s pro-athletes, grocery stores are also stepping up to help those in need. Food Town, H-E-B, Whole Foods and other chains are opening their doors early to allow the elderly to shop in a less crowded environment. And proving that Texas is a state with a big heart, neighbors are regularly checking in on the elderly to keep them from feeling isolated and are even offering to aid with their grocery shopping.
Ways you can help support your community
Donate to food banks
Employers across the state have donated to the organizations that need it most, including the USAA, who has given more than $1 million to the San Antonio Food Bank and Meals on Wheels. These organizations are always in need of more food donations or monetary pledges; visit the Houston, Austin, San Antonio, East Texas and North Texas sites to learn how you can donate in your community.
Support senior services
COVID-19 is primarily affecting the elderly, and organizations like Meals on Wheels have stepped up to deliver hot meals to seniors. If you have a senior neighbor, why not give them a call so they have someone to talk to, or to let them know that you’re there to help if they need anything?
Support emergency housing funds and homeless shelters
As more and more people are laid off during these uncertain times, they may suddenly find themselves in a situation where they’re unable to pay their rent or mortgage. Here’s a list of Texas organizations that you can help support.
Support local businesses
Restaurants and small businesses are taking a financial hit, but your support could help keep them afloat. The Texas To Go website offers a searchable list of restaurants that have begun offering curb-side pickup, and campaigns that are specifically geared toward helping people in the service industry Austin and Houston whose hours have been cut off or significantly reduced.
Above all else, please follow the guidelines set out by the CDC, World Health Organization and our nation’s leaders and social distance yourself to help slow the spread of the virus. We are at our best when we work together as a community and all do our part to help overcome coronavirus.