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How New Yorkers Can Help Those In Need During Texas' Winter Weather Emergency

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- As the power is restored in Texas, a water crisis remains.

Some New Yorkers seeing the videos and pictures feel helpless, but as CBS2's Alice Gainer reports, there are ways you can help.

Nearly half of Texas is under a boil water advisory from overwhelmed water systems and leaking pipes due to the cold. Some are even boiling snow.

There was a line of cars in Houston at a drive-thru bottled water distribution site.

At many food stores, there are empty shelves.

FEMA is in Texas providing generators, water, diesel fuel and blankets, among other things.

New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted that so far, she's helped raise $2 million in direct donations for nine different organizations for food, housing and elder care.

The American Red Cross is asking for donations through its website.

"This is especially hard for those low-income families who were already struggling," said Amy Ragan, chief development officer for the Houston Food Bank.

The Houston Food Bank is also asking for contributions.

"Funding from the residents and citizens of New York would be really helpful," Ragan said. "For every dollar donated to our food bank, we can provide three meals."


World Central Kitchen is feeding people in vulnerable communities, too.

The New Jersey organization Bikur Cholim of Lakewood is sending food for the Sabbath.

"With Shabbat starting here in Lakewood in just about 40 minutes and down there shortly, none of the families were able to prepare food for themselves," Yehudah Kaszirer told CBS2's Ali Bauman.

Kaszirer says the food on their trucks will serve more than 1,000 people. Two volunteers drove all night to get there.

"One guy drove, one guy slept, one guy drove, one guy slept, and 24 hours later, they made it there," he said.

Watch Dick Brennan's report --

And don't forget the animals.

"We're also dealing with the aftermath of people who have left their pets outside," said Dr. Ellen Jefferson, president and CEO of Austin Pets Alive.

She says money donated goes toward shelter repairs for broken pipes and supplies like blankets, heating devices, food, water and also transport costs.

"We are working with shelters in Texas that have lost so much of their shelter space that they are considering euthanasia on entry because they don't have anywhere to house animals even for a few hours. And so we're trying to get those animals to safety," Jefferson said.

Many organizations allow you to designate what exactly your money will go towards. They say any amount helps.

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