Last week, the state of Texas endured the most severe winter weather recorded in more than a century, so the players of the Houston Dynamo and the Houston Dash have organized a Winter Storm Relief Fund to help those in need. Donations can be made directly to the players’ fund and will be split between the Houston Food Bank and Kids Meals Houston. The Houston players know that everyone in Houston has been impacted by the storm, and are grateful for anyone who can help. More than $20,000 has been raised as of February 20. Donations are 100% tax-deductible in the USA.
In addition, Keeper Notes is hosting a canned food drive during the upcoming SheBelieves Cup watch parties at the Phoenix on Westheimer. All canned goods brought to the Phoenix during the Sunday 2-4 pm and Wednesday 6-8 pm events will be taken by Keeper Notes to the Houston Food Bank. Here is a list of most-needed items as well as unacceptable items.
Keeper Notes reached out to a few of the Houston players to hear about their experiences during Winter Storm Uri. Being from the Midwest, Dash players Shea Groom and Megan Oyster are no strangers to winter weather, but Dynamo homegrown players Marcelo Palomino and Daniel Rios have spent their whole lives in Houston.
Groom: We had to get creative with water, but compared to so many families we were fortunate not to have any severe damage to our living spaces.
Oyster: For me it was hearing about all of the people who live so close to us really struggling. Not knowing when things would get better for those who have young kids or animals was truly heartbreaking.
Palomino: We had some damages to our ceiling and stuff, but knowing that there were a lot of other people in the city that were in worse situations than I was and not being able to do much about it is a little frustrating.
Rios: My family didn’t have light or water for three days. That was the toughest part, seeing them shivering and not being able to shower. But we as long as we were together, I think we were okay.
Palomino: As a player, we always want to be ready and as fit as possible. Over the off-season, I’ve been putting together some gym equipment in a room, and so I was lucky to have that there and to just keep working from there.
Rios: I was able to go to my sister’s apartment and her gym was open. So I was able to get on the treadmill and lift, so I was able to stay fit during those three rough days.
What was the most surprising part of this winter storm experience?
Groom: For me it was probably just how happy it made [my dog] Bullet. I knew he loved the snow and the winter weather, but it’s like he knew it wasn’t supposed to be happening here and he was definitely getting his fix.
Oyster: “Showering”… we had to go on a hunt for jugs of water and in order to shower I had to dump cups of cold water on my head.
Palomino: The snow was awesome, but again, I know a lot of people were really affected by it. The biggest thing for me was I realized how much water and electricity make a difference in our lives. I definitely came out of this experience a lot more appreciative of those things.
Rios: Just not being able to do the daily routine things. I wasn’t even able to get three meals a day because of what was going on. That was pretty tough. And also seeing the outside of Houston — It didn’t feel the same. It was kinda like a movie.
Groom: It’s incredible to know that despite yet another obstacle, we have been able to come together and provide for this community. A city that is so resilient and full of people who constantly show up for one another. I’m thankful to be part of a club whose players are so eager to use their platforms to create change, spread awareness and help our city when tragedy strikes.
Oyster: It’s amazing! It shows how powerful community is. I’m so thankful for everyone who helped our neighbors here in Houston through this difficult time.
Palomino: When Zarek first brought up the idea in our group chat, I immediately texted him saying “thank you,” because being from here, that’s huge having both teams come together to help others. As a Houstonian I really appreciate that and I know that the people do as well.
Rios: I think it’s really important that we’re coming together to work for the city of Houston because we’re all in this together at the end of the day.