March 3, 2021
Millions of people in Texas and across the southern United States are still reeling from days spent without heat, light, or water, after record-breaking cold weather caused the state’s power grid to collapse last month.
In the wake of the winter storm, demand for basic necessities like food and clean drinking water in Texas surged. Thrive Market mobilized our resources and our community to help. With the support of our one-million member community, we were able to distribute more than 1,000 boxes of healthy groceries and more than 90,000 diapers to families in need through our Thrive Gives partnership with Baby2Baby.
Across Texas, access to potable water became of particular concern. “Grocery stores were without power and couldn’t receive typical deliveries due to the weather, and municipal water plants were affected by power outages and busted pipes,” explains Taylor O’Neil, CEO of Richard’s Rainwater. Thrive Market partnered with the Austin-based company—whose team, O’Neil reports, was “inconvenienced, [but] fortunate to avoid serious health or safety scares”—to distribute 500 cans of ethically sourced clean drinking water to Texans in need.
Richard’s Rainwater harvests rainwater as it falls (meaning before it touches the ground) and bottles it sans chemicals. “[We] had lots of clean water, because rain is never compromised like other water sources, but the challenge was how to get it to the most people in need as fast as possible,” O’Neil explains.
The company’s first move was to connect with volunteers and local organizations. “Amidst the chaos, we heard so many people asking six simple words: What can we do to help?,” O’Neil recalls. “So many stepped up to do their part, and the end result was a powerful message that community is power.”
Richard’s Rainwater teamed up with famed Austin restaurateur CK Chin and local wholesaler Minamoto Foods to organize their distribution efforts on the ground. The chain reaction that occurred was a testament to the spirit of the community; O’Neil says a single social media post in search of available box trucks and Sprinter vans resulted in dozens of responses, with volunteers lending their time and vehicles to finish the job. “Everyone contributed what they could,” he recalls. “What happened was beautiful.”
If you are in Texas and need assistance, or if you’d like to volunteer or donate, click here for a list of helpful resources.
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