For those of us who were born and raised (or who have lived or have loved ones) in cities like Rockport, Port Aransas, Corpus Christi, Victoria, Houston, Beaumont, Port Arthur and Orange, after days of Harvey coverage we have felt something that lies between the grief of total destruction and the vacuum of apathy. We have been sad, yes, and we've been scared, though not for ourselves. We've watched the news and cried from our comfortable, air-conditioned homes, feeling something else: helplessness. Neutered by geography, we've watched people we love fight for their homes and their lives while we continue to wait in line at the grocery store and argue on the phone with the credit card company, the minutiae of modern life that those in Harvey's path would give anything to experience.
We have watched our loved ones beg for rescue on Facebook, their cries for help punctuated by recipe videos and posts from people complaining about their chatty Lyft drivers. It has been completely surreal while altogether too real to comprehend, and there's not much we've been able to do about it, save for donating money online and volunteering our time at Dallas shelters that have slowly filled with evacuees.
But there's been something else, too, a movement that started small and ballooned to encompass more businesses than we could fit onto one unwieldy list: bars and restaurants rallying to raise funds and supplies for Harvey relief efforts. The outpouring of love and support has yielded commendable results; after donating a night's sales, Cane Rosso raised $20,000 for the Houston Food Bank. Cattleack BBQ raised more than $10,000 for the Salvation Army. And the emails about fundraisers keep pouring in; I've received more than 100 in the last few days.
For the people who waited in line to eat at Cane Rosso or Cattleack, it was a small gesture, but when performed in rapid-fire succession by dozens of businesses all over the city, that small gesture became a decent-sized flotation device thrown from our dry land to a drowning city nearby.
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For the most part, these fundraisers are not massive, but with so many of them happening all over the region, it represents something larger: a display of our fundamental need to help our fellow man. Even as national news outlets pack up and leave affected areas and compassion fatigue sets in among those who weren't there, the fundraisers continue. It's easy to forget people once the TV stops showing video of their flooded homes and harrowing rescues, but they need support beyond the three or four days after landfall. And that's why, in Dallas, the fundraisers continue.
Here are some of the biggest events that should be on your radar:
- From 6 to 11 p.m. today, Tuesday, Sept. 5, the Dallas United States Bartenders Guild is hosting All Hands on DEC at DEC on Dragon; all proceeds from the event go to the Greater Houston Community Foundation Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund. "Guests are invited to attend the public event for a $20 donation at the door or online, or $10 at the door with a donation of nonperishable food, clothing, water, or other items needed for those displaced," according to a press release. "Box fans, air mattresses, baby bottles and diapers will also be accepted and will be sent to the Austin Disaster Relief Network. For a full list of items that are needed, please visit adrn.org." Along with ample cocktails and food, there will be raffles, silent auctions and a live auction for attendees to bid for dates with eligible bartenders from across the city.
- Headington Cos. bars and restaurants are donating 100 percent of their profits Wednesday, Sept. 6, to the Houston Food Bank. All you have to do is visit any of the following restaurants tomorrow, and every dime made will go to Harvey relief efforts: CBD Provisions, Americano, Weekend, Mirador, Wheelhouse, Sassetta, Front Room Tavern, Victor Tangos and The Porch.
- From 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 6, 100 percent of proceeds from Midnight Rambler will go to the Houston Food Bank.
- Nearly 100 Dallas businesses will donate 20 percent of gross sales Wednesday, Sept. 6, to Trusted World and CORE Gives as part of the DTX 4 HTX fundraising effort organized by Central Track. All day and into the night Wednesday, bars and restaurants like Barbara's Pavilion, Easy Slider, High Fives and the Standard Pour (which will match the 20 percent raised by patrons) will allow Dallasites to help out just by going out for a beer or a bite to eat. See the full list of participating businesses here.
- From 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 6, Empire Baking Co. is donating 100 percent of sales from its Lovers Lane bakery and cafe to the Red Cross Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund.
- District 30 will host a Yappy Hour for the animals of Hurricane Harvey on Thursday, Sept. 7. A portion of food and drink sales will go to Animal Investigation & Response, "a nonprofit deploying to Houston to help rescue the animals affected by Hurricane Harvey," according to a Facebook event page. Diners are welcome to bring their pups to hang on the patio, and local nonprofit Epic Animal Rescue will be on site with adoptable dogs to make room for Harvey dogs in area shelters.
- Revolver Brewing is creating a special beer for Harvey relief, and 100 percent of proceeds from its sales will go to the Red Cross and Houston-based charities. "We're working fast but haven't come up with a name yet, so feel free to leave your suggestions below," Revolver posted on Facebook. "We’ll share more details on the beer soon."
- The Greater Dallas Restaurant Association has organized the Giving Table fundraiser from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Monday, Sept. 11, at 3015 at Trinity Groves. Dallas chefs and bartenders will cook dinner and serve drinks, and there will be live music, too. "Our goal is to provide Mercy Chefs with provisions to cook for those at the heart of the many widespread areas devastated by Hurricane Harvey, as well as collecting donations of necessary basic needs for the countless families and animals impacted by Harvey's destruction through The Cajun Navy and the Houston SPCA," organizers said. Tickets are $65, and 100 percent of money raised goes to Mercy Chefs, the Cajun Navy and Houston SPCA.
- From Sept. 11-14, all four DFW-area Lombardi restaurants — Toulouse Café and Bar, Bistro 31, Taverna and Penne Pomodoro — will be donate 20 percent of all proceeds from food sales to the American Red Cross.