It’s been a big headline week for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Their exit from royal duties was finalized! They announced a second Sussex baby! They’re sitting down with Oprah! But after a particularly brutal week for Texans, the philanthropic couple continued to make news from their new Montecito home — this time, by offering help to Dallas-based Genesis Women’s Shelter.
Last week, the nearly 40-year-old Dallas non-profit was forced to shut down their shelter for the first time in its history after sustaining structural damage from Winter Storm Uri. Last evening, Genesis took to Instagram to share some positive news: Meghan and Harry, through their Archewell Foundation non-profit, had offered to replace the roof of its transitional housing apartment complex, Annie’s Place, in addition to helping the organization meet its most immediate needs.
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The royal news was one of the latest examples of notable names stepping in to offer support for our state. Grammy-winning artist Kacey Musgraves may have come up with the most creative fundraising plan. In response to Texas senator Ted Cruz flying to Cancun in the middle of the disaster, the singer did some A-plus trolling work, raising thousands of dollars for local charities selling a “Cruzin’ For A Bruzin’” tee. “Texas is cold. I can be cold,” Musgraves tweeted — a play on her lyrics from “Slow Burn.”
U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez used her political platform for good, launching a fundraiser on Thursday of last week that has now amassed nearly $5 million in donations for Texas.
On Sunday, Austin-based Matthew McConaughey announced he and his wife Camila, along with their Just Keep Livin’ Foundation, would be hosting a virtual fundraiser within the next two weeks to directly help “the necessary, long-term effort to rebuild Texas and take care of those in need.” Stay tuned to the actor’s Instagram for tips on staying safe during this time, ways to help, and more information about the upcoming fundraiser.
Partnering with Austin’s Ranch Rider Spirits (which offers arguably the best canned ranch water in the game), Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Leon Bridges asked those in a position to give to text “BIGGOOD” to the number 707070 to donate to Feed the People Mutual Aid in Dallas and Fort Worth, and Austin Mutual Aid. Do your ears a favor and watch Bridges’ full announcement, which ends with a soothing guitar riff.
Now I know H-E-B is a grocery store chain and not a celebrity, but I feel like you could make an argument for the latter in Texas. Last week, the beloved store took actions to ensure operations stayed up and running, and that the essentials remained on hand. An H-E-B near Austin even allowed shoppers to take their groceries home for free. (The #thankyouHEB corner of TikTok is as warm and lovely as you’d expect.)
There is much work to be done to help Texas fully return to form, and more still to ensure we don’t face a crisis like this again. Celebrity-backed fundraisers are just a tip of the iceberg when it comes to the philanthropic efforts to help Texas, but a little star power certainly never hurt anything.