Monday, 22 February 2021

Harry & Meghan Support Dallas Women's Shelter in Wake of Texas Crisis

Many of us all over the word have been saddened by the effects of a devastating Texas storm which has wreaked havoc and reportedly left 4 million homes and businesses without power for several days. The ripple effect has been devastating. Genesis Women's Shelter & Support in Dallas is a lifeline for women and their children. The effects of the storm led to Genesis sharing the following statement on Instagram. "For the first time in our history of more than 35 years, our shelter had to be completely shut down due to an extended total power outage. Additionally, the pipes burst in our transitional housing unit, Annie’s House, flooding apartments, offices and the on-site school."

Like so many in the US, Harry and Meghan have been closely following the situation and wanted to help. On Sunday, they spoke to members of Genesis' team on the ground to find out how they could provide support. The couple made a donation through their non-profit Archewell Foundation to help Genesis get their much needed service back up and running. It will cover replacing their roof at their transitional housing apartment complex and assist in meeting some of the many immediate needs. The charity said, "Big and small, local and international, each and every donation reminds us that we are not alone and we will make it through. Thank you to Archewell Foundation for helping to put a roof over the heads of women and children!"


In a statement Jan Langbein, CEO of Genesis Women's Shelter and Support said the Duke and Duchess' support "shines an international spotlight on violence against women and children".

“In spite of the devasting winter storms here in Texas, our hearts have been warmed by the support and generosity of people from all 50 states and five foreign countries. Today, we were notified that through the actions of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s nonprofit, Archewell Foundation, Prince Harry and Meghan will make a donation to help us get back on our feet. Not only will this gift provide for our critical needs, it shines an international spotlight on violence against women and children, letting survivors know that they are not alone."

More from Dallas News:

'Genesis CEO Jan Langbein said Monday that she could not disclose the donation amount, but she said the funds were significant enough to replace the roof on Annie’s House, the organization’s transitional housing apartment complex, and to help with other immediate needs such as staffing and other items not covered by insurance.

“The gift from Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, is literally going to put a roof back over the heads of the moms and children of Genesis,” Langbein said. “The thought of the literal meaning of that, and then the figurative meaning of that — that they care enough to put a roof over the heads of people who have none — just warms my heart.”

Genesis' mission is to "provide safety, shelter and support for women who have experienced domestic violence, and to raise awareness regarding its cause, prevalence and impact". Last year, they supported 3,700 women and children at their emergency shelter and transitional housing apartments. They walk alongside the women they work with every step of the way - offering assistance with securing long-term accommodation, counselling and access to pro bono legal services.

If you would like to support Genesis at this incredibly difficult time they have created an Amazon wishlist containing items they need for the women and children they support immediately. From shampoo to towels and food, every single donation is much appreciated. Click here to donate directly to their website. $45 provides a warm meal and a night of safety in a private room at their emergency shelter.

A representative for the couple told ET Canada, "Their hearts remain with the community, with the families Genesis serves, and with the volunteers and workers on the ground who selflessly provide care and support to those in need. Like so many, the couple is heartbroken to see communities across Texas still struggling to access the very basic resources we all need - water, heat, food, shelter, and hope that others will be compelled to donate or help out whatever way they can".

AP News reports on the situation on the ground:

'As temperatures plunged and snow and ice whipped the state, much of Texas’ power grid collapsed, followed by its water systems. Tens of millions huddled in frigid homes that slowly grew colder or fled for safety. And a prideful state, long suspicious of regulation and outside help, was left to seek aid from other states and humanitarian groups as many of its 29 million people grasped for survival.

At one hospital, workers stood outside to collect rainwater. Others stood in line at a running tap in a park. A mother of three took her children to shelter in a furniture store after she could see her breath forming in the family’s trailer. University professors fundraised so their students could afford meals.'

A report on the catastrophic power outage from BBC News.

More from the Texas Tribune on the extent of the tragic situation:

'In Abilene, first responders found a 60-year-old man dead in his home on Wednesday. His wife, who was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment, said they hadn’t had power for three days. Fire department members told KTXS that it felt as cold inside the home as outside.

Across Texas, deaths related to the winter storm continued to mount this week amid freezing temperatures, widespread power outages and a scarcity of clean water. While there have been reports that dozens of deaths are tied to the storm in Texas, experts say the death toll is likely far larger. And it could be weeks or months before the true magnitude is known.'

If we've learned anything over the past year, it's the knowledge in time of crisis, we have the opportunity to see the best of humanity come to the fore. When one delivery driver's car slid on the ice she was welcomed into the home of a Texas family for five days.

It's wonderful to see Archewell offering timely help to Genesis and ensuring they can reopen their doors as quickly as possible. As we've seen through countless crises, often times barriers to access funds can lead to damaging consequences, particularly for charities whose services are essential on a 24/7 basis. Our thoughts are with Texan readers.

21 comments:

  1. I live next to Dallas and we had a relatively easy time. People have suffered so much. A lot did not have winter clothes. Pipes are run in attics with zero insulation. What a wonderful thing for H&M to do!! There truly are no places for people to go.

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    1. Allison, I live in Grand Prairie. This was horrific storm because of how many suffered. We lost power for 5 days and 5 hours. My family of 8 lived the life of nomads, staying at 3 different homes last week.

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  2. This is so wonderful for them to do. I like that they focused on women who experience domestic violence because I sure they or people they know understand what's it like to be in a home in an unsafe situation. It parallels Prince Harry taking his wife out of an abusive place, his home country the UK.

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    1. Kessehu J @04:33: How true, that Meghan was in an abusive situation and together she and Harry had the means and courage to break away.

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  3. Thank you so much for the link Charlotte, I will be donating to this wonderful organization through amazon <3 much love to Texans right now

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  4. H&M are so quick to help in a crisis. Bless them always!

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  5. The best of humanity indeed and the world become a better place if we look out for one another.... God bless the Sussex

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  6. Good to hear you are ok Allison. Austin is still under boil water advisory and parts of Austin without water. It’s nuts because so much of this disaster could have been avoided. All that bluster and bravado were hiding big institutional failure.

    The bright spot in all of this has been the community and my crazy family. And boy does having a small generator makes you popular. Heh. People’s kindness overwhelms me. Disaster brings the good and bad human qualities out. I’m grateful that I’ve only seen the better angels here. The joke going around is the baby boom 9 months from now. Humor and distraction keep people going through (literally) dark times. Thank you Charlotte for this blog.

    Lights on in the big T

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  7. A Wonderful organization to support!

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  8. Thank you Charlotte for highlighting this! This is so Harry and Meghan- while the British Press is getting lost in spitting toxicity and discussing titles-they are busy working.

    I was shocked that it is 1 of 3 women in Texas experiencing this. I hope violence against women and children will be forefront on Archewells agenda. I try to make small donations for our local women’s and children’s shelter on a regular basis and can only recommend this. When every community is aware of theirs and supports it it makes a huge difference for these places.

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    1. Becca in Colorado22 February 2021 at 21:15

      Your second sentence really says it all, Kristina. I've no idea (and will probably never understand) why the royal family couldn't appreciate and harness Harry and Meghan's work ethic.

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    2. What Becca & Kristina said:) -op

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  9. Chef Andres and World Central Kitchen is also there providing meals for Texas and helping to deliver water

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  10. Much needed and much appreciated.

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  11. Hmm I love them everyone in their home country are british press are toxic them they are trying to do their work to help others in need

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  12. Harry and Meghan's attention to grass root issues in communities speak to the real charity that is needed in our world from all of us.

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  13. Good for them. Texas is gradually getting out of the disaster. People have died unfortunately.

    https://www.texasmonthly.com/politics/texas-blackout-preventable/

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  14. And bam! Just like that they are of service to truly deserving cause. Take that grey suits ! Perfect timing, Sussexes.

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  15. I think this is so wonderful! I live in the area of north Texas where @least a few counties were declared not just natural disasters but worse so that more federal funds would be given. My family of 8 were without power for 5 days and 5 hours. Our home was very cold. We lived the lives of nomads by staying at a few different homes last week. Lots of people have had damage to their homes because of pipes breaking, lives were lost, and people are worried about how they will pay their bills.

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Welcome to Mad About Meghan! We do so look forward to reading your thoughts. Constructive, fair debate is always encouraged. Hateful, derogatory terms and insults are not welcome here. This space focuses on Harry and Meghan, not any other member of the Royal family. It's not the place to discuss politics either. Thank you for reading, we look forward to your comments :)