Beyoncé and adidas are stepping in to assist Texans affected by the deadly snowstorm, which has left countless without food, power, or water. This much-needed aid underscores just how badly the government has failed the people of Texas.
On Thursday, the singer's BeyGOOD foundation announced it had teamed up with the sportswear giant and nonprofit Bread of Life, Inc. to give up to $1,000 to individuals who have experienced financial hardships due to the disaster.
BeyGOOD has offered affected Texas residents and those in surrounding states a Disaster Relief Assistance Application Form to apply for aid. The form emphasizes, however, that the one-time payment is only for those who are facing financial emergencies caused by the storm and “is not designed to address ongoing financial challenges.”
While we could take this moment to celebrate Bey's generosity, we have to ask: why is it up to private persons and nonprofits to do the government's work?
Since last week, a historic cold winter has crippled Texas, 20 people have died and almost 300,000 Texas homes and businesses are still without power, CNN reports. The record-low temperatures have also devastated the water supply and residents' access to food. Meanwhile, Texas lawmakers are playing a blame game with no real accountability or solutions.
The failing of the independent Texas grid – operated by the ironically named Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) – has made a weather crisis even worse as it leaves the state with no power alternatives. Instead of addressing the power outages as a legislative failure, Texas Governor, Greg Abbott is attempting to blame renewable energy snd the Green New Deal – which at present doesn't exist – for the power failures. Yet, he failed to note that renewables make up less than 10 percent of the state's total energy supply.
Then there's Senator Ted Cruz, who fled to Cancún, Mexico on Wednesday, while millions of his constituents were freezing at home, many without power, water, or food – this is the same Senator who mocked California's electricity problems during their fires, tweeting that the state was "unable to perform even the basic functions of civilization, like having reliable electricity."
The Texas crisis also shows how the US is unprepared for the very real repercussions of the climate crisis. The state's power grid collapsed because it was not designed or equipped to handle extreme weather like the current deep freeze, at the least, this should be a warning.
While lawmakers are spewing falsehoods and playing politics, it's private initiatives like BeyGOOD's that are making a difference for the people on the ground. The people of Texas are still in dire need of assistance, in the absence of proper governance, here are some ways you can help:
Donate to shelters such as the American Red Cross, Mutual Aid Houston, Austin Mutual Aid, Caritas of Austin, and Feed the People Dallas. All groups are working to provide housing, food, and other support systems to those affected.
Donate to a food bank in Texas. Feeding Texas, the Free Lunch initiative, and Houston Food Bank are distributing food to those in need.
Donate to or volunteer with disaster relief organizations like Crowdsource Rescue, which has been activated to help those in Texas.
Help animals in need by donating to organizations such as Austin Pets Alive!, SPCA of Texas, and Operation Kindness.