Charities step up in the midst of Winter Storm Uri

Photo courtesy Amanda J. Raaska

The Measure of a Life is its Service

The official motto of Sam Houston State University rings clear with all the hard work from local community charities during Winter Storm Uri. The storm caused electricity shutdowns and water loss across Huntsville, with no timeline for when it would be back. Despite rolling blackouts and freezing temperatures, charities kept their doors open to help the community the best way they could.


SAAFE House is a shelter and crisis intervention agency for women and children escaping family violence and sexual assault. The center helps with emergency sheltering, basic living essentials and advocacy assistance.

During winter storm Uri, the shelter assisted people in finding safe places during the cold temperatures.

“We did have people, homeless people that were calling and asking to seek shelter and we would refer them to the appropriate agencies,” SAAFE House executive client services director Renee Murphy said.

While assisting women and children with basic living necessities, the center gains help from the local community and Sam Houston State University through drives and donations. Many sororities and fraternities do different drives for them to restock things they need.

To learn more about volunteering please visit SAAFE House volunteer page.

Photographer Amanda J. Raaska

Good Shepherd Mission

Good Shepherd Mission strives to meet basic human needs through feeding, clothing, sheltering, counseling, and changing lives for good based upon New Testament teachings of Jesus Christ. A mission statement that depicts exactly the actions the group took to assist people during Uri.

“People came in and we filled up, but during [because of] COVID-19 we are at 50% occupancy,” executive director of Good Shepherd Mission Rev. Dave Smith said. “We spread people out- we still served our meals twice a day and breakfast for people who stayed.”

During the week, local grocery stores donated food that would go bad due to lack of power, prompting the group to give a lot of it out by Tuesday. When the shelter lost water, a local plumbing company came out and gave them portable toilets to use until the water was back on.

To learn more about donating please visit Good Shepherd Mission donations page.

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