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With Hurricane Matthew looking like it will remain a threat throughout the weekend, numerous Austinites have all hands on deck for the relief efforts at home and abroad. Here’s a look at the folks who are doing the work, and how you can help them…


Ever since Uber and Lyft left Austin several months ago, there has been plenty of companies that have popped up to help former Uber drivers and riders get around Austin. One of them, called Fasten, which operates in both Austin and Boston, announced a partnership with UNICEF USA to help with Hurricane Matthew relief. In a press release issued this week, Fasten notes that Boston has a large Haitian community whose families may be affected by the hurricane. Since the company has locations in both cities, they are asking residents of both cities to donate.

If you are a current or new Fasten customer and want to help out, enter the code “RELIEF” into the Fasten app and $5 will be donated to UNICEF USA. Bonus: You’ll also get $5 off your next trip. Learn more about UNICEF USA’s relief efforts here.

Mission of Hope, Haiti

Mission of Hope, Haiti was founded in 1998 in Haiti as not only a way to provide relief for natural disasters but to also provide education and ministry to the country. When the organization decided to move to the United States, it chose Texas, setting up shop in Cedar Park.

“We are able to quickly mobilize food, water, and medicine, and we have a proven track record of doing that,” Annette Boorman, their vice president of stateside operations, told Fox 7 Austin. “We have over 400 partners there, and we can say we know what’s coming, how can we plan, and now we are able to execute this plan.”

If you would like to find more about volunteering for Mission of Hope, Haiti, check out their website.

American Red Cross Central and South Texas

While Texas is free and clear from experiencing this devastating storm, that doesn’t mean that volunteers aren’t ready to help if assistance is needed,” Bristel Minsker, communications director for the American Red Cross Central and South Texas, said during an interview with KXAN. “We are making sure that our staff and volunteers are trained on what they’ll need to do, specifically sheltering in many cases. And we also have caches of supplies that are stationed all up and down the east coast.”

The organization also issues “call downs,” where they call volunteers and see if they are available to travel to areas in need. “It’s very common that we will deploy folks in depending the size of the disaster,” Minsker added. “We sent dozens of volunteers to Louisiana for these most recent floods that happened in Baton Rouge, and we’re certainly ready to send volunteers to Florida or any of the East Coast states if that’s needed.”

If you have any tips on other Austintes who are working on Hurricane Matthew relief, please e-mail

Featured photo: Hurricane Matthew satellite image



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Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

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