Winter Storm Recovery Help Available

Executive Committee Member and Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas Legal Aid Managing Attorney, Kay Pechin shares with us these resources for those impacted by the recent winter storm.

Dear Community Partners,

We hope this email finds you safe and well. Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas (LANWT) remains committed to assisting our communities through this difficult time. Our organization offers free civil legal help to eligible community members in North and West Texas. To help our communities, we are sharing some information we hope will be helpful to you following the recent severe winter storm.

Federal Disaster-Related Assistance

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has been directed to provide assistance following President Biden’s disaster declaration for several Texas counties based on the severity of the recent winter storm. Individuals and small businesses that sustained losses and live in eligible counties may apply for disaster assistance at

To determine whether your county is included in the disaster declaration and what level of service the county is approved for, visit This information is regularly updated in the days following a disaster declaration, so if your county is not included, you may want to check back.

Because of safety concerns caused by the pandemic, there are no brick and mortar Disaster Response Centers (DRC) open in Texas. Those applicants who do not have internet access may apply for disaster assistance by calling 1-800-621-3362 or 1-800-462-7585 TTY.

Utility Shutoff

Following the storm, the Public Utility Commission (PUC) issued an emergency order suspending the disconnection of utilities for nonpayment until further notice, including ordering utilities not to process any disconnections. Individuals who are receiving higher than normal utility bills may qualify for legal protections that prohibit price gouging.

Unemployment Benefits

The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) has suspended the work requirement statewide for the weeks ending February 20 and February 27. To assist customers, TWC will extend deadlines for any delays that occurred due to the winter storm. Employers may encourage employees who have lost wages due to being displaced from work by a natural disaster to apply for unemployment benefits. To apply for benefits, workers may apply online at or call 1-800-939-6631.

D-SNAP: Food Stamps for Those in Immediate Need

The Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP) offers short-term food assistance benefits to families recovering from a disaster. D-SNAP is designed to help once people return to their homes and have access to electricity and grocery stores. For eligibility information and instructions on how to apply for D-SNAP benefits, please visit

Small Business Assistance

Low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) are available to businesses, homeowners, and renters. Call the SBA at 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 800-877-8339) or visit

Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas

We hope the information we provided is helpful. Kindly share this info with the community at large as you wish. Individuals who need disaster-related legal help may contact LANWT’s Disaster Intake line at 1-888-548-8457 or visit our website at for instructions on how to apply. Our website also features important updates and useful information. If you need additional assistance—such as webinars, topic-specific legal presentations, or legal clinics—please contact your local LANWT office at 806-373-6808, Ext. 6500. 

We appreciate all that you do to help our community and look forward to working together to help those in need.

Best regards,


Kay L. Pechin
Managing Attorney
Amarillo Branch Office
Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas

2021 Scholarship Applications

The Amarillo Branch NAACP Scholarship Awards are open to all interested Amarillo
area students. Scholarships are based on merit, academic potential, financial need, and
community service. All student scholarship applicants must meet the minimum
enrollment and qualifications required by the college or university they plan to attend.
Scholarship amounts $500 up to $1000. One-time payment (non-renewable)

All applicants must agree to the following requirements:

  • Student must be an Amarillo area high school senior.
  • Student must be accepted as a full-time student at an accredited College or University and show proof of admission.
  • All scholarship awards will be forwarded to the Financial Aid Office at the college/university designated by the student on or about August 1st for application to the Fall or Spring Semester.
  • Any and all funds remaining after the payment of tuition, books, and fees will be held for the student by the student’s Financial Aid Office for use the following semester.
  • If all funds are not used within two consecutive semesters and/or summer sessions, the remaining funds will be forfeited back to the Amarillo Branch NAACP.

Scholarship applications will be accepted from March 1st to April 2nd.

All applications for scholarships must be received or postmarked by April 2nd.

P.O. Box 2433
AMARILLO, TX 79105-2433

Download the application here:

Congratulations, Coach Eric Mims, Sr.

Congratulations, Coach Eric Mims, Sr., on being named the Athletic Coordinator and Head Football Coach at Palo Duro High School. This historic achievement was years in the making. You bring a championship pedigree on and off the field to a place that eagerly awaits your expertise. Your place among trailblazing coaches puts you in an exclusive group which includes the late great Coach Johnny Allen of Carver Junior/Senior High School. Nevertheless, you will undoubtedly create your own legacy in your new capacity at your distinguished alma mater.

We are excited for you to begin this journey and we will be ready to assist you whenever we can.

Financial Literacy Panel

Please note that the Financial Literacy Panel scheduled for this Saturday at 1pm has been postponed due to weather and power issues. A new date to be announced.

When: February 20, 2021 @ 1 PM (postponed)
What: Discussion regarding financial literacy and economic development with Adrian Meander, Bowden Jones,  Joseph Peterson, Treasurer Freda Powell, and Economic Development Chair Mildred Darton

Community Policing Panel, Feb 6, 2021

Officers and members of the Amarillo NAACP met today with law enforcement and community leaders to discuss community policing. Please note that there are two recordings. Click “Upcoming: recording 2” to continue.

Topic: Community Policing Panel Date: Feb 6, 2021 10:59 AM Central Time (US and Canada) Meeting