Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan buy Texas women's shelter a new roof after devastating winter storms

By Zach Harper

A Dallas women's shelter that saw its roof damaged in massive winter storms last week and was forced to close has received a wonderful gift: Duchess Meghan and Prince Harry's Archewell Foundation has paid for its repairs.

Twenty-six states were pummelled by massive winter storms last week. In Texas, millions were left without power and water after winter storm Uri hit. Many were left trying to stay warm in what was also a record-breaking cold snap, with temperatures dropping to around -15C in some cases. Genesis Women's Shelter & Support was among the facilities in the state that were affected by the catastrophic weather, having to close its doors for the first time in 40 years – when many found themselves needing a warm space.

Volunteers at the Houston Food Bank pack emergency boxes to be given to residents in need after winter storm Uri left Texans struggling with power outages, water shortages and a record cold snap. Photo: © Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

"In spite of the devastating winter storms here in Texas, our hearts have been warmed by the support and generosity of people from all 50 states and five foreign countries," Jan Langebin, Genesis' CEO said in a statement.

"Today, we were notified that through the action of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's nonprofit, Archewell Foundation, Prince Harry and Meghan will make a donation to help us get back on our feet.

"Not only will this gift provide for our critical needs, it shines an international spotlight on violence against women and children, letting survivors know that they are not alone."

This isn't the first time Meghan and Harry have helped those who have been affected by natural disasters – or who might be in the future.

In late 2020, the Sussexes revealed Archewell would partner with the World Central Kitchen to help those affected by catastrophic weather events and other circumstances get healthy, nourishing food.

The non-profit was set to work with World Central Kitchen to fund community relief centres in Puerto Rico and on Domenica in the Caribbean, a part of the world often affected by hurricanes. The Atlantic hurricane season has become more intense in recent years, and the 2020 season was the fifth consecutive year in which there have been more storms than average.

Women and girls' rights have also been important to the Sussexes. Meghan frequently appears at International Women's Day events to speak about the importance of feminism. She's also advocated for women around the world through the United Nations and non-profit organizations.

In 2015, she was the UN Women's Advocate for Women's Political Participation and Leadership, and the following year she travelled to India as Global Ambassador for World Vision. In the latter country, she learned about barriers women and girls face when it comes to accessing education.

Last week, Meghan and Harry confirmed to the Queen that they will not as working members of the Royal Family. As a result, they will return their royal patronages and honourary military appointments, which will be redistributed among the family. They will continue to hold their private patronages, such as the Invictus Games Foundation and Smart Works, and of course, will continue to expand the work their Archewell Foundation is doing.

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