Scenes from Harvey: Austin nonprofits in action

It was a given that Austin nonprofits such as the Austin Red Cross, Austin Disaster Relief Network and Central Texas Food Bank would send immediate aid to coastal Texans reeling from Hurricane Harvey.

Nancy Flores has been sharing the ways that Austin groups have rallied to support the stricken.

Also, as Matthew Odam has reported, Austin’s always generous food community, is lining up to help out.

  • MORE STORIES: Mary Herr Tally sends us additional reports from Austin Pets Alive. I especially like the two van loads of Labs and Goldens headed for Pennsylvania.

“The rescue stories are so powerful and evolve quickly — daily or by the minute, from a tiny puppy found alone and brought in badly needing to

“Or a young dog with a particularly traumatic rescue that the rescuer wanted it known. The muddy pup had a fresh a head and shoulder wound and injured pelvic. She’d shut down emotionally and wouldn’t eat for days, and after being held closely for hours and lovingly talked to, perked up and was later jetted off by Oakland-based MAD Dog Rescue.

“MAD Dog volunteers arrived yesterday morning, walked thru APA’s Burnet site to cherry-pick 60 seniors, dogs needing medical care, and puppies that they would then fly out last night.

“The APA Harvey dogs are leaving quickly, yesterday a Golden Retriever Rescue group from Pennsylvania left with two vans loaded with Golden Retrievers and Labs. Another rescue group from California sent a plane on Saturday.”

  • From Mary Heerwald at Austin Pets Alive, which has rescued more than 330 animals since Thursday afternoon.
“We received an incredible dog family named Snow White, Prince Charming and each of the seven dwarves (puppies), no less, that was abandoned in a truck port in Columbus. This Facebook plea was sent to us via our Positive Alternatives to Shelter Surrender line and we were able to help coordinate their evacuation transportation and get them all safely into foster homes in Austin.”

• From Margo Sawyer, the distinguished Austin artist whose old Elgin building — not her studio or house, but one she had planned for a sculpture garden — was destroyed in Harvey’s high winds and rain.


“This is especially devastating as I have had a  summer meeting with artist friends, investors, realtors and architects thinking and dreaming what this special place could be a sculpture garden or sculpture garden and spa with art that doubles as ice plunge pool to be a relief of the summer heat. I know there are many horrific situations in Texas right now, but as artists we often take the big risks in living in areas or building building the need a lot of work, as we see the potential value.” Visit Sawyer’s GoFundMe site to stabilize and rehabilitate the building.

• From Chelsea Rodriguez at Austin Humane Society:

Shawn with Roco and Mimi. Contributed

“As Hurricane Harvey began to make its way to the Texas coast, Shawn of Rockport, Texas was preparing to weather the storm. Many people in the Rockport area had already fled to outlying towns, but there were some who stayed behind. Little did Shawn know, this would be one of the most terrifying events he had ever experienced. “’We ended up being buried into our house. We live next door to a recycle yard so there were pieces of metal and boats, you name it, on top of us.’ Shawn, his wife and their two dogs, Roco and Mimi, were able to dig themselves out of the debris on Saturday morning. “I was a smoke jumper in California for the National Forrest Service for 17 years and this was the scariest thing I have ever been through.”

Lewis and Jade. Contributed
“Lewis and his 8-year-old Doberman, Jade, were among the fortunate to have evacuated from Rockport before Hurricane Harvey hit. ‘We went to Mathis to ride out the storm, when it was over we made our way back to Rockport around 10:30 in the morning and my house was gone.’” Along with his home, Lewis, a small business owner, found that his construction shop had also been destroyed. AHS was able to provide general wellness vaccines and microchipping for the pets of the victims of Hurricane Harvey. For the hundreds of people like Shawn and Lewis that are seeking refuge in Toney Burger Activity Center and Stadium in Austin, Texas, the future is unclear.”
Brandon, Tess and Harvey. Contributed
“Hurricane Harvey has continued to devastate Texas and its surrounding states, but like they say, ‘every cloud has a silver lining.’ For Rockport evacuees, Brandon and b, that silver lining comes in the form of a tiny four-legged friend. Just as Brandon and Tess were preparing to evacuate their home, a beacon of hope showed up on their doorstep. ‘He just came out of nowhere and we knew we couldn’t leave him behind. The water was starting to rise and we expected alligators to show up pretty soon,’ said Brandon. The duo, now a trio, scooped up the adorable German Shepherd pup and headed out. When morning came, Brandon, Tess, and their new furr-baby traveled back to Rockport and came to find that their house had been completely destroyed. ‘All that matters is that we’re together. All 3 of us,’ said Tess. When asked what they decided to name their new little guy, they responded, ‘Harvey.'”

•  Some nonprofits are helping out indirectly. Consider the Paramount Theatre, whose system is pretty efficient and clever.

“In response to the widespread damage caused by Hurricane Harvey, the Paramount is offering free admission to this week’s Summer Classic Films to Red Cross donors. In order to redeem their free ticket, patrons are encouraged to donate $10 to the Red Cross by texting REDCROSS to 90999. All they need to do is show the text at the Box Office, and they’ll receive a free ticket to that day’s film(s). Additional ways to donate will be available on site. More details and other giving opportunities here:”


RELATED: Before Harvey, nightmares of Texas hurricanes past.

RELATED: Central Texans with coastal property await word.

RELATED: Thrall holds pre-Harevy rain record at 38 inches.

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