Notes & Noticias: Helping Hands

Dear Friends,

Last week, several areas of Austin experienced extensive flooding and damage due to storm weather. The Dove Springs area was one of the most severely impacted, and while clean-up has already begun, there’s substantial work to do to repair the damage in our community.

This week’s Notes and Noticias focuses on how to help the recovery, and highlights a few heroes who have been leading the charge.

Helping Hands

Thousands of Austinites have been impacted by last week’s flooding and storm damage. Much help is needed to get Dove Springs back on its feet, and while I know the community remains as resilient as ever, we all must join together to help however we can.

If you can help those in need, here’s what is most needed at this time:

Volunteers: An estimated 5,000 volunteers are needed to help clean up from the flooding. If you can give your time, please head to the Dove Springs Neighborhood Association Volunteer & Donation center at the intersection of Quicksilver Boulevard and Pleasant Valley Road. There’s plenty to do, so please head over and join in the effort.

Household Goods: If you can contribute items on the lists below, please bring them to the Dove Springs Neighborhood Association Volunteer & Donation center at the intersection of Quicksilver Boulevard and Pleasant Valley Road through Sunday, November 10.

The most-needed household items are cleaning supplies, rubber gloves, basic toiletries, baby wipes, diapers, toilet paper, mosquito repellent, and paper towels. Donations of non-perishable foods, bottled water, sports drinks, and fruit are also needed.

After Sunday, all non-perishable food items should be taken directly to Oak Meadow Baptist Church, 6905 South IH-35.

Clothing: Please take clothing donations to local Salvation Army locations.

Financial Support: The best place to donate money is the Central Texas Red Cross, which is providing shelter for displaced flooding victims and providing other crucial assistance. Please donate online at http://www.redcross.org/tx/austin and designate your funds for the Austin flood recovery.

Other local non-profit agencies looking for volunteer assistance include:

The American Red Cross of Central Texas (bilingual volunteers especially needed):http://www.redcross.org/tx/austin

Salvation Army of Austin: http://www.salvationarmytexas.org/austin/

The Austin Disaster Relief Network: http://www.ADRNTX.org or (512) 331-2200

Hands on Central Texas: http://www.handsoncentraltexas.org

 

If you need help or know someone who does, the following resources are available:

Joint-Assistance Center: Located at the Dove Springs Recreation Center, this is the one-stop shop for flood information and resources. The Rec Center is at 5801 Ainez Drive and is open from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. daily.

Free Legal Clinic: Members of the Austin Bar Association and Hispanic Bar Association are offering free legal help for flood victims Friday from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Perez Elementary Fall Festival. There is also a legal services table at the Dove Springs Rec Center.

Help For Pets: Evacuees that need to temporarily shelter their pets can leave them with the Austin Humane Society located at 124 W. Anderson Lane. If you are missing a pet, and have a photo of your missing pet, please email it to facebook@austinhumanesociety.org or contact 512-646-7387.

Hazardous Materials: Please do not throw away hazardous materials. If you encounter chemicals or other dangerous waste, please call 311 for a waste pick up.

Thanks to everyone who is working night and day to help our community recover, and thanks to everyone who is assisting these relief efforts.

Spotlight On: Dove Springs Community Leaders

In the aftermath of disasters such as this, it is always inspiring to see individuals and organizations stepping up to lead the recovery effort, helping the community get back on its feet.

Some of the leaders in the ongoing recovery effort in Dove Springs are no strangers to the community — Edward Reyes, President of the Dove Springs Neighborhood Association, and George Morales III, who serves as president of the Dove Springs Recreation Center advisory board.

They have been working tirelessly to lead the recovery effort and are a source of inspiration and pride in the neighborhood. Their relentlessly positive attitudes have helped us all stay focused on the tasks at hand. These leaders are always there for members of the Dove Springs community.

I’m also inspired by Principal David Kauffman and all of the teachers and staff at Perez Elementary, who have helped students and families impacted by the flood, even going door-to-door to spread the word about available resources.

Thanks also to Robert KibbieCynthia Valadez-Mata, Sr.Cynthia Valadez-Mata, Jr., Mona GonzalezRicardo Zavala, and the Dove Springs team who have helped lead the relief and recovery efforts.

Leaders such as these help keep our community strong, especially in trying times such as these.

Make sure to thank the friends that you know who are helping these recovery efforts.

A Good Tuesday

I’m glad that we have a bright spot amid all of our recovery efforts.

Tuesday night, Austin voters approved $65 million in affordable housing bonds by a wide margin, demonstrating broad community support for this important need. 

Congratulations to everyone with the Keep Austin Affordable campaign on a job well done. These funds will go a long way to helping protect affordability in Austin, and help low- and middle-income residents remain in our community despite the rising cost of living.

Additional congratulations to my close friend Celia Israel, who was the leading Democratic candidate on Tuesday in the special election to replace Mark Strama in HD-50.

Celia heads to a run-off with Republican Mike VanDeWalle. We all must work together to ensure that Celia is elected and that we send a public servant who cares about affordability, access to education and health care, and equal opportunity and rights for all to the legislature.

Thanks to all who voted.

I look forward to seeing you in the community soon. In the meantime, if my office can be of service to you — especially if you need help recovering from last week’s severe weather — please don’t hesitate to contact us at (512) 463-0674.

Sincerely,
Eddie