When the city’s boil-water order went out on Monday morning, nonprofits across Central Texas began to scramble, especially those that provide direct food service. But community response to the need was overwhelming, and in most cases, their requests for donations of bottled water were quickly met.
“On a typical day, the Meals on Wheels Central Texas kitchen uses 1,500 gallons of water to cook the nearly 3,000 meals our volunteers deliver to our homebound elders and people with disabilities every weekday,” said Thad Rosenfeld, vice president for communications at Meals On Wheels of Central Texas. “As soon as we received the boil water notice early Monday morning, our kitchen staff immediately went above and beyond the precautionary measures suggested by health officials in order to ensure the food we prepare is 100 percent safe for our clients to eat.”
In addition to the precautions, Meals on Wheels received donations to purchase bottled water from the community, said Rosenfeld. As of Thursday morning, Rosenfeld said the response had been so great, they were able to purchase enough for several days.
Companies across sectors are stepping up to make sure everyone in the community has access to clean water. Breweries are providing boiled water to coffee shops and companies like Richard’s Rainwater of Dripping Springs are working around the clock to get water into the hands of those who need it the most.
“Richard’s Rainwater notified the community that they would be providing water to schools and nonprofits in need via social media,” said Christina Collazo, executive director of Todos Juntos Learning Center. “Because our name means all together, it’s especially meaningful when we collaborate with the greater community. “
After offering bottled water to schools, nonprofits and churches on Monday morning, Richard’s Rainwater reported that it had delivered 5,000 bottles of water to schools and charities by Tuesday afternoon. It’s not just companies that are leading the charge to ensure everyone in our community has access to clean water – individuals and families are stepping up too.
“As an organization, we were unable to boil enough water onsite to feed each one of our animals adequately, so we put a plea out into the community asking for donations of bottled water,” Katera Berent, communications and events manager for Austin Pets Alive! said. “The response from the community was overwhelming–in the best way. By late afternoon on Monday, we had received enough donated water from individuals to sustain our lifesaving operations for days to come. It was an incredible showing from the community and we are so thankful.”