The Democrat hit her first million in under 24 hours. Since then, she has raised another $4 million and visited the Houston Food Bank to volunteer.
House Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has officially raised over $5 million in relief efforts for those affected by the unprecedented winter storm in Texas. She announced the historic results of her fundraising via a post on Twitter. Hundreds of Texans have since weighed in, thanking her for her initiative at a time when many local state officials have shirked themselves off of their responsibility to their residents. All the funds raised will go towards those distressed by the storm through The Bridge Homeless Recovery Center, Ending Community Homeless Coalition (ECHO), Family Eldercare, Houston Food Bank, and Feeding Texas, CNN reports.
NEW: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez announced tonight that her fundraising efforts for a Texas relief fund "just hit $5 million"https://t.co/AlnoFD0xC8— Axios (@axios) February 22, 2021
"One last update (I think!): We just hit $5 million raised for Texans across the state," the Democrat wrote on Twitter. "Thank you ALL for your collective action when people need it most. Charity can’t replace policy, but solidarity is how we’ll face climate change and build a better world. Thank you." The tweet featured a photo of Ocasio-Cortez with a team of volunteers. The Congresswoman has also flown to Houston, Texas, in order to support volunteer efforts. She was joined by Democratic Texas Representatives Sylvia Garcia and Sheila Jackson Lee. All three elected officials helped pack boxes with food at the Houston Food Bank.
We hit $3.2 MILLION in Texas relief support last night!— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 20, 2021
One of the places it’s going is the Houston Food Bank. I’m visiting Reps. @JacksonLeeTX18 & @LaCongresista with volunteers to pack meals.
The bank REALLY needs helping hands.
Can you join a shift? https://t.co/93wBfD4YdI pic.twitter.com/62AvCb4CL7
Ocasio-Cortez stated while speaking with reporters, "When disaster strikes, this is not just an issue for Texans; this is an issue for our entire country. And our whole country needs to come and rally together behind the needs of Texans all across this state. That's the New York spirit, that's the Texas spirit, and that's the American spirit." The fundraiser, in addition to her swift decision to act, has given Texans some hope in very dark times. For instance, New York Times bestselling author Kurt Eichenwald posted on Twitter, "As a Texan who suffered with so many through this, I cannot fully express how deeply grateful I and so many of the residents of our state are for your selfless actions on our behalf."
I read criticism of @AOC for going to Texas to help w/ their crisis;it is bad idea to criticize her or anyone for helping...people from all over USA help each other and it should be encouraged. Her presence is also spotlight on crisis which is good to remind others to help— Greta Van Susteren (@greta) February 21, 2021
Others, too, have expressed their gratitude. "What you are doing with organizers on the ground is nothing short of being good and doing good," Ghanaian-American researcher Anna Gifty Opoku-Agyeman wrote. "And we need more good in our country so thank you AOC, and thank you, organizers!" Ocasio-Cortez has also been compared to political adversary Ted Cruz, who evacuated the state with his two daughters and crossed the border to Cancun, Mexico, in order to protect themselves.
Cruz said in defense of his actions, "I was trying to be a dad. And all of us have made decisions—when you got two girls who have been cold for two days and haven’t had heat or power and they’re saying, ‘Hey look, we don’t have school, why don’t we go. Let’s get out of here.’" In stark contrast, the Democrat has mobilized all her available resources. When asked if she had organized a fundraiser of this size before, Ocasio-Cortez responded, "Our first major relief effort was last year when [the pandemic] hit and so we were able to build a disaster relief and fundraising operation and we cut our teeth on that with Covid but that was in our home district, and so before that, we had mobilized for Hurricane Maria relief but that was before I was elected as a member of Congress. 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."