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Ocasio-Cortez Raises Millions For Texas After Winter Disaster, O'Rourke Launches Wellness Check Effort

HOUSTON (CBSDFW.COM) — Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has raised millions of dollars to help Texas after last week's deadly winter storm and former Representative Beto O'Rourke is spearheading efforts to reach those most in need.

According to her press secretary, as of Sunday night, February 21, the representative had raised more than $4.7 million. That milestone was reached in just a matter of hours -- the New York representative only launched the fundraising effort on Feb. 18, collecting some $1 million on that same evening.

The weather event brought extreme cold, ice and snow to the Lone Star State and caused the power grid managed by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) to nearly fail -- leading to blackouts and boil-water notices for nearly half of the state.

To help even further Ocasio-Cortez also flew to Houston over the weekend where she helped out at a food bank and toured water delivery sites and homes damaged by the storm.

The congresswoman's efforts come as Sen. Ted Cruz faces backlash for flying to Cancun as many of his constituents were left in the cold, without power or water. To raise money, Ocasio-Cortez used Act Blue, a Democratic fundraising tool, that helps build email listservs as donations are received.

"I think this is just something that we should be able to do whenever there is an area in our country that's in need," she said.

Another Democratic political adversary of Cruz, Beto O'Rourke, also stepped up to help those hit hard by the winter storm. O'Rourke ran a virtual phone bank to contact senior citizens in Texas, to connect them with resources during the disaster.

He has launched Wellness Check Canvass efforts in parts of North Texas, Austin, Houston and San Antonio, sending volunteers door-to-door to make contact with residents who may be in need of food, water or assistance with repairs.

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