Area Foundation & City of San Antonio Team Up to Help Winter Freeze Victims

Charitable Fund and Relief Program Target City’s Most Vulnerable Residents

The country’s seventh-largest city was hit hard by last week’s severe winter storm, heavy snow, and freezing temperatures. Snow and ice unfortunately led to countless frozen pipes and water damage, and families are now struggling to pay for critical plumbing repairs. 

Even though the city’s water supply is fully back online, water is still not flowing for many of our neighbors – a particularly acute concern for low-income families in crisis.

The San Antonio Area Foundation (Area Foundation) and San Antonio Water System (SAWS) have jointly established the Community Pipe Repair Program Fund (“CPR Fund”) to financially assist high-poverty households with unplanned pipe repairs and related costs. The CPR Fund will be hosted by the Area Foundation to accept charitable donations and SAWS will administer the program by screening and assisting applicants online, via phone (210) 233-FIXX (3499) and email (CPR-SA@saws.org).

“This is a strong community effort going full speed ahead,” said Marjie French, CEO of the Area foundation. “Mayor Nirenberg is using his civic platform to broadcast this initiative across our community. Our city’s public utility for water, SAWS, is reaching out to customers in high poverty areas who are facing imminent health risks due to burst pipes. Our foundation’s top priority in this effort is to engage individuals and institutions to help save lives and mitigate ongoing hardships for our most vulnerable neighbors.”

Lead donors to the CPR Fund include Spurs Give with a $250,000 commitment, Toyota Motor North America with $100,000, Frost Bank adding $50,000 and Wells Fargo donating $25,000. Since its launch on Monday, Feb. 22, the CPR Fund has received nearly $500,000 from corporate donors and individual gifts.

Tax-deductible donations can be made online or via mail by visiting saafdn.org/cpr. Foundations and corporate donors are encouraged to discuss their gift with Lisa Brunsvold, the Area Foundation’s Vice President for Development & Donor Services – she can be reached at lbrunsvold@saafdn.org or at (210) 347-0240.

“By partnering with the San Antonio Area Foundation, SAWS is able to leverage the generosity of San Antonio’s corporate and individual donors to help residents in need with critical pipe repairs,” SAWS President and CEO Robert Puente said. “This money will help countless families recover from the weather emergency and allow SAWS to continue providing access to clean water to the entire community.”

 It’s all about coming together as a united front to help those most in need as quickly as possible. 

“The winter storm has passed, but the recovery is in its early stages,” said Mayor Ron Nirenberg. “Many of our friends and neighbors have immediate needs that they can’t afford to address, yet they also can’t delay. These funds will enable them to take care of those issues now. Helping each other get through hard times is the San Antonio way.”