What Austinites Can do to Give Back During the Holidays
At Realty Austin, we are passionate about the importance of giving back to our community and one of the biggest ways we do this is by building a home through Habitat for Humanity. The holiday season really brings out the spirit of giving and many local charities have great opportunities to help those in need through volunteering, donating, and gift programs for those who don’t have the resources. Explore some of the different ways you can give back in Austin and keep our fellow Texans in mind as they continue to need help rebuilding after Hurricane Harvey.“
20 Austin Charities to Give Back to This Holiday Season:
- Mobile Loaves and Fishes
- SAFE Holiday Programs
- Foundation Communities Holiday Assistance Program
- Austin Habitat for Humanity
- Trinity Street Homeless Shelter
- The Giving Tree at Marbridge
- Coats for Kids
- Brown Santa
- Toys For Tots
- Blue Santa
- Austin Jingle Bell 5K
- Central Texas Food Bank
- Generation Serve
- Austin Disaster Relief Network Harvey Holiday Giving
- Salvation Army Angel Tree
- Help our Furry Friends
- Turkey Trot
- H-E-B Feast of Sharing
- Meals on Wheels
- Operation Turkey
Mobile Loaves and Fishes has many volunteer opportunities to help residents at Community First! Village or on the MLF mobile food trucks delivering food. Access their online calendar and find a day that works best for you to volunteer. Not able to volunteer in the field? You can donate 3 dozen hard boiled eggs and drop off at any MLF program location.
SAFE holiday programs needs volunteers December 7th-20th at the Austin Children’s Center campus wrapping and sorting gifts, sponsors to help with holiday wish lists, or shoppers to purchase donations from the shelter’s Amazon wishlist! Donations from this site ship directly to SAFE’s warehouse! Find the holiday program best suited for you on their website.
Foundation Communities has 4 different ways you can help our neighbors in need through the holidays! Sponsor a family, donate gifts to their holiday drive, make a monetary donation and they will do the shopping for you, or simply help them spread the word!
Trinity Street homeless shelter needs volunteers daily, especially during cold days, to serve and donate food for our homeless friends in Austin. You can register to volunteer online or give a monetary donation to the Trinity Center.
The Giving Tree at Marbridge is a way to get involved in sharing the gift of Christmas with a resident at Marbridge. Gift tags with residents’ wishes and needs will be hanging on the Christmas tree in their Welcome Center from November 13th-December 13th from 8:30 am-5:00 pm. Gifts are to be returned to the Welcome Center in a gift bag by December 13th.
The Junior League of Austin will host the 31st annual Coats for Kids distribution day on December 9th, providing more than 34k warm winter coats to children in need. Check out the volunteer opportunities to organize a coat drive, volunteer during sorting week or volunteer on distribution day.
Brown Santa provides assistance to underprivileged children and their families in Travis County and senior residents of local retirement centers through the Travis County Sheriff’s Office. You can donate new, unwrapped toys or non-perishable food. Access their list of suggested donation items and drop off locations on their website.
There are many ways to support Toys for Tots in Austin, which provides toys for kids in school who are on the free or reduced lunch lists. The deadline for donations is December 20th and you can also donate online.
Austin Police Operation Blue Santa delivers toys and meals to needy families’ homes while wearing a blue suit and the same boots that police officers wear. For more information on how you can donate visit their website.
The Austin Jingle Bell 5K will take place at The Domain on December 10th and is benefiting MADD. Participate in the 5K or sponsor a runner to help raise funds and awareness or volunteer at the event!
Central Texas Food Bank offers both the opportunity to volunteer and donate! Holiday Gifts will be matched through December 31st making $1=$2 and every $10 donation provides 80 meals. You can also volunteer in many different ways from in the warehouse to their community kitchen.
Generation Serve specializes in volunteer opportunities for kids. This is a great way to get the family involved and support different causes! You can check out their volunteer opportunities or donate to support family service activities.
The Austin Disaster Relief Network is working with families still affected by the hurricane in Texas by hosting a Supply Drive on December 8th from 8:00 am-6:00 pm. They are asking for crockpots, microwaves, and toaster ovens to deliver to families so they can make meals as well as bedding and clothing needs.
Angel Tree provides Christmas assistance to families in need in Travis and Williamson Counties. You can donate to help a local child in need or adopt an angel. Stop by one of these malls listed below on November 11-December 16 and choose an Angel from the Angel Tree:
- Lakeline Mall – Upstairs by JC Penny
- Barton Creek Square – Upper level near Sears
- Hill Country Galleria Mall – Inside Guest Services
Help our Furry Friends
The ThunderCloud Subs Turkey Trot is a fun Thanksgiving day activity benefiting Caritas of Austin. In addition to the 5 mile run they offer a one-mile walk and Kids K, so there is something for all members of the family! You can also sign up to volunteer with packet pickup, event day registration, or clean-up.
Join H-E-B at the Palmer Events Center on November 21st from 4 pm-8pm at their Feast of Sharing where they provide a holiday dinner. In addition to a holiday meal, there will be music, arts and crafts, kids activities, and an appearance by Santa himself. All volunteer opportunities for the event have been filled but check back periodically as some volunteers may release their spot!
Meals on Wheels provides holiday meals to homebound older adults. Donate today and provide not just a meal but human connection and friendship from caring volunteers to our neighbors living in hunger and silence.
Operation Turkey prepares, packages and delivers food to the homeless and less fortunate on Thanksgiving Day and has other events leading up to the big day as well! Check out the volunteer opportunities and see how you can get involved!
Have a favorite local charity that you like to support during the holidays?
We would love to hear from you! Please comment and share your favorite ways to help fellow Austinites.
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