MARBLE FALLS, Texas (KXAN) — An organization formed after historic flooding two years ago is now assisting hundreds affected by another disaster: this week’s winter storm.
The Highland Lakes Crisis Network (HLCN) began distributing heaters, blankets and food before the storm hit. However, those relief efforts have only ramped up since then. It’s gotten to the point that the group’s executive director, Kevin Naumann, said it’s become a struggle to keep up with the requests for help.
“It’s interesting how we’ve had so many just back-to-back crisis situations,” Naumann said. “We started with the flood. We’ve had the COVID response. We did a bunch of feeding over the summer with people impacted by that, and now here we are with this situation.”
The network of churches is currently working with various partners to provide meals, rides, shelter and plumbing help for people whose pipes have burst after the extended period of freezing temperatures. They’re concentrating their relief efforts for those living in Burnet and Llano Counties.
“We’re just trying to be creative and flexible and do what we can to take care of people and love people the best we can,” Naumann said.
On Monday, cooking began at Numinous Coffee Roasters in Marble Falls. Owner Alex Payson said that day he made dinner for 50 people.
“[Naumann] called about 3 o’clock in the afternoon and said the first responders needed food for the fire station, police station, EMS and all the public works officers,” Payson said.
Since that time, Payson said coffee shop customers and other neighbors have shown up and prepared more than 825 meals for emergency responders and families stuck at their homes.
“We’re doing a small number of deliveries today,” Payson said. “Hopefully we’re going to rest some tomorrow, and then we’re going to see what the needs are next week. We have supplies now to do another 1,000 meals if we need them, so we’re going to see what happens next week. We might be cooking or it might be just getting prepared for the next time.”
HLCN hosted its Polar Plunge fundraiser Friday and brought in more than $22,000. Naumann said the group has already given out some of that to people in need.
“That being said, we could use a lot more financial resources also because this thing is just starting in many regards, and there are a lot of families,” Naumann said. “It will take a lot of resources both financial and volunteer manpower, that sort of thing to get them all back to normal.”
People needing help or interested in volunteering or donating can visit the Highland Lakes Crisis Network’s website. It’s even helping out at water distribution sites since the area remains under a boil water notice, too.