When Hurricane Harvey made landfall nearly a year ago, nonprofits and businesses across Texas stepped up. In order to meet the needs of Central Texans who fell victim to the turbulent storm, United Way for Greater Austin partnered with MFI Foundation, Capital Factory, Entrepreneurs Foundation and Austin Community Foundation to coordinate efforts in the philanthropic community. On July 2, 2018 the collaborative announced grants to six community organizations totaling $781,000.
The grant recipients include PeopleFund, Fayette County Disaster Recovery Team, American Youthworks, Bastrop County Long-Term Recovery Team, Lone Star Victims Advocacy Project and Operation Finally Home. Through a community fundraising effort our Central Texas neighbors, still reeling from the aftermath of the storm, will be better able to rebuild their communities and livelihoods.
In only two short months after the disaster, United Way for Greater Austin’s 2-1-1 Navigation Center fielded more than 300,000 calls from Texans desperately seeking help and support – and that was only a small piece of the statewide devastation Hurricane Harvey left in its wake. During the hurricane, 2-1-1 remained open and responsive 24/7 for nearly three weeks to help the network handle an overwhelming number of calls. In addition to dramatically extending overtime hours, the Navigation Center welcomed support from more than 60 volunteers UWATX staff, board members and other community volunteers – and we couldn’t be more grateful.
Recovery was and is a huge community effort. As needs were still being determined our community stepped up to donate and volunteer in any way possible, proving Texan resilience to be remarkably strong when we all work together. One beloved Austin business, and one of our amazing corporate partners, Kerbey Lane Café even utilized their area of expertise to ensure that struggling Texans got the support they needed.
Thanks to the generous support of our community, these funds will be distributed and used to rebuild the lives of thousands of Central Texans, proving that you really can’t mess with Texas. The grant recipients will use the awards to complete the following projects:
- PeopleFund – $250,000 – Small Business Loans for Entrepreneurs Affected by Hurricane Harvey. These funds are leveraged by an additional $500,000 from PeopleFund to provide up to $750,000 in capital for recovering small businesses. The PeopleFund match was made possible by funds from JPM Chase Foundation, Northern Trust, and other generous partners.
- Fayette County Disaster Recovery Team – $250,000 – Hope Hill (a planned neighborhood for displaced homeowners and renters)
- American Youthworks – $100,000 – Hurricane Harvey Disaster Strike Teams
- Bastrop County Long-Term Recovery Team – $76,000 – Finding Relief After Hurricane Harvey and Beyond
- Lone Star Victims Advocacy Project – $65,000 – Legal Assistance to Immigrant (domestic violence) Survivors in Rural Texas
- Operation Finally Home – $40,000 – Hurricane Harvey Veteran Modification Projects
Thank you to everyone who donated to the fund and to all the organizations who are working tirelessly on recovery efforts. When we work together and live united, we are a stronger and better community.
Photo By: Photo: Nick Wagner, Associated Press