For many in central Texas, this Memorial Day did not go as planned. Many of us looking forward to spending time with friends and family, instead found ourselves texting and calling friends and family to see if they were unharmed.
Severe weather – complete with deadly flash flooding and tornado activity – hit Travis and surrounding counties all weekend. Communities like San Marcos, Wimberley, Bastrop and Austin were severely damaged by the weather, and stories like this one are starting to pop up in the news. This storm system isn’t through, and as of this publication is moving east.
You might be tempted to say that this Memorial Day is totally and completely ruined. And in many ways, you’d be right.
But watching police, firefighters, and other city personnel work tirelessly to rescue those in need; seeing tons of concerned citizens lighting up social media with requests for prayer for those affected by the storms; and anticipating the no doubt countless donations and volunteers that will likely show up to assist the suffering in the upcoming days, remind me of what Memorial Day is for:
Remembering all of those who fought (fight) to keep this country free, by intentionally reaching out to thank them for the countless sacrifices they have made, and continue to make for us.
Reminding us that we are all called to serve the needs of others, be it to protect their freedoms, rescue them from harm’s way, or restore them to health. We can’t let the work of those we remember today be in vain – we all are called to make this country a good one.
If you haven’t already, reach out and thank the military women and men you know. Offer up prayers for those who have lost their lives protecting ours. And then, reach out to help those in immediate need with prayer and assistance.
Who to call if you need help:
- American Red Cross, Texas Statewide Hotline: 1-877-500-8645
- Austin Disaster Relief Network: VICTIM & PUBLIC HOTLINE # 512-806-0800
Who to contact if you want to help:
- Catholic Charities of Central Texas: Updates on how to help will be posted here and here.
- Donate to Austin Disaster Relief Network here.
- Donate to American Red Cross: RedCross.org/Donate or call 1-800-REDCROSS
- Become an American Red Cross Volunteer: http://www.redcross.org/tx/austin/volunteer/application
- Donate to the Salvation Army online at salvationarmyaustin.org, or by mail by sending checks to The Salvation Army, PO Box 1000, Austin, Texas 78767
- The United Way of Greater Austin: Text UWATX to 85944 or give online at UWATX.org/flood
- KVUE Austin put together a GoFundMe page for those impacted in Hays County: Help Hays County
- Donate to Hays County Food Bank, 512-392-8300