As Texas continues to battle the frigid grip of a historic winter storm, Two Ten Footwear Foundation is beginning its disaster relief outreach to help those who have been impacted.
The nonprofit shared with FN that it has started sending out disaster relief emails with the goal of reaching footwear companies, retailers and trade associations that may have workers or members in snow- and ice-hit areas. It is offering crisis aid, referral services and counseling to shoe industry employees and their families, urging them to contact 800-346-3210, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or apply for assistance online.
In a statement, Two Ten chief marketing and development officer Terri Rawson explained that the organization’s Social Services team has received only one call so far from a footwear employee who has been affected by the recent winter storms.
“That’s not unusual; typically, we start receiving requests for emergency financial assistance within three to four days following a natural disaster after people have been able to assess their situation and their needs,” she said. “There are also challenges related to communications as power lines are down, cell service is inconsistent and internet access has been interrupted so people may have a hard time reaching us right now.”
Two Ten also encouraged those with the means to do so to donate to its Crisis Relief fund. It said that 100% of proceeds will go toward affected individuals and families.
As of Thursday afternoon, more than 400,000 people in Texas were still without electricity as demand for energy surged and thermal energy sources went offline. Across the United States, more than one million people in states including Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi and Oregon were also left without power. At least 36 people have died this week as a result of weather-related accidents on the road or carbon monoxide poisoning as they struggled to stay warm, in some cases, by using the heating systems in their cars.
President Joe Biden has declared states of emergency in Texas and Oklahoma as well as authorized the Federal Emergency Management Agency to provide generators, blankets and other supplies to help those impacted by the extreme weather. “Jill and I are keeping Texas, Oklahoma and other impacted states in our prayers,” he wrote on Twitter. “Please heed the instructions of local officials and stay safe.”