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uShip Leads the Way in Latest Harvey Relief Effort by Austin Tech Startups

Brent Wistrom, Austin Inno  /  Dozens, probably hundreds, of Austin companies have been donating money, time and supplies to help families in southeast Texas as the remnants of Hurricane Harvey continue to cause historic flooding and displace thousands of people.

And some tech startups are using their own software to assist. uShip, for example, is an online marketplace for consumer and business shipping. It is organizing a Hurricane Harvey relief effort along with several other Austin tech companies, including The Chive, Aceable, Box, Everfest, Invodo, Orange Coworking and Boundless Network.

The company is encouraging its employees and fellow tech companies to bring physical donations, like non-perishable food, to uShip’s new headquarters at 205 E. Riverside Drive in Austin through Friday. uShip will coordinate shipping and send the donations to affected areas this weekend.

The organizers aren’t looking for clothing or blankets at this time. Here’s what they’re hoping to collect: non-perishable food (including baby formula and baby/toddler food packets), bottled water, personal hygiene items (including diapers, hygiene items, depends, baby bottles, baby formula), pet food and essentials, insect repellant, hand sanitizer and baby wipes, tools (including shovels, rakes, hoes, chain saws, shop vacs, industrial brooms), work gloves, buckets, large/industrial trash bags, flash lights, batteries, tarps, foam ear plugs and safety glasses.

The relief efforts come as the storm continues to cause widespread flooding in Houston and across the southeast Texas and southwest Louisiana regions. President Donald Trump will survey damage in Corpus Christi Tuesday morning before flying to Austin Tuesday afternoon around 2:30 p.m. to visit the Texas Department of Public Safety headquarters near North Lamar and Koenig in north-central Austin. Trump is scheduled to depart from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport at 4:20 p.m.

Other On-Going Efforts

  • Capital Factory is hosting a blood drive on Friday (Sign up here, and find additional blood donor locations here). Capital Factory is also offering co-working space to entrepreneurs displaced by the storm.
  • Embark, the dog DNA startup that recently relocated to Boston, is donating 100 percent of net profits from Aug. 30 to Sept. 3 to help dogs displaced by the storm. The money goes to the Houston Humane Society, Austin Dog Alliance and the Embark Veterinary Foundation where nonprofits can apply for grant money to help dogs impacted by the hurricane.
  • One Pebble, an Austin fintech company, is collecting money to pay for mobile phone chargers via a GoFundMe campaign.
  • Dropoff, an Austin B2B delivery startup, will donate $1 to the Red Cross for each delivery it makes this week.
  • Bunker Labs Austin is gathering teams to help storm victims in Houston. Those interested in helping can contact Sabrina Marshall-Wojtewicz at [email protected].
  • Kendra Scott will donate 50 percent of online sales on Aug. 29 to the American Red Cross for storm relief work.

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