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14 Ways to Give Back This Holiday Season in Austin | Austin Charities


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Austin, TX – 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 make a difference in the lives of Texans that need community building, neighborliness and love now more than ever. 

Austin Charities to Give Back to This Holiday Season:

Every Fall, Realty Austin agents volunteer with Austin Habitat for Humanity to build a home for a deserving local family. The construction of the home is completed in December right before the holiday, making the home build experience even more special for the new homeowner and their family. Join Realty Austin in building a home and making a difference in the lives of generations of Austinites. Donate to Realty Austin’s 9th Annual Habitat for Humanity Home Build virtual fundraiser. Your virtual gifts will go towards the fundraising goal of reaching $100K to purchase the materials needed to build the home from the ground up.

Every year Foundation Communities look forward to bringing a little holiday cheer to their residents who will not be able to fulfill their family’s wish list on their own. Join Realty Austin in providing thousands of families at Foundation Communities by giving a monetary donation to their Holiday Assistance Fundraiser. 100% of donations will provide supplemental items for families needing additional assistance and gift items for their supportive housing residents. Make a holiday donation online and spread the word to your friends and family!

Photo Credit: Community First! Village

Community First! Village is a 51-acre master-planned community that provides affordable, permanent housing and a supportive community for men and women coming out of chronic homelessness. This holiday season, make a reservation at their Holiday Market shopping event, December 3-5, where resident artists and makers set up shop to sell their unique items, sure to please everyone on your holiday list. The Village is decorated in holiday cheer and Santa will even make an appearance for photos. Purchases will help provide a dignified income for the Village neighbors who work through the Community Works programs.

SAFE | Holiday Giving Programs were designed to provide families with the joy most of us associate with the holiday season. SAFE has a number of different opportunities to give back during the holidays. The non-profit is seeking hundreds of community members to sponsor holiday wishlists, providing holiday gifts to the children at SAFE | Children’s Shelter. You can also shop the SAFE shelves gifting essential items to the shelter from Amazon and Target. 

In partnership with Realty Austin, SAFE| Children’s Shelter is raising funds this holiday season through their virtual Touch-A Truck event. Get involved by doing a #HonkHonkForKidsChallenge on social platforms and donate to the online fundraiser. With a goal of raising $125K, all funds will benefit the children and families living at SAFE | Shelters.

Photo Credit: River City Photography

Join runners near and far for the 25th Anniversary Austin Jingle Bells 5K! This year the event is going virtual so you can participate wherever you’d like from December 6th through January 6th. The Austin Jingle Bell Bell 5K benefits Mothers Against Drunk Driving who aid victims and increase public awareness of the problem of drinking and drugged driving. Register for the event today and give back with a fun run!

The Austin Police Operation Blue Santa is a non-profit volunteer organization that has been serving Austin families in need for 48 years. Their mission is to provide toys and food for families in need during the Holiday Season. What began with gift distribution to 20 families in 1972 has become a massive effort serving over 6,000 families in Austin and around 15,000 children, infants to 14 years. Make a donation and make a difference in the lives of thousands of Austin families.

Travis County BROWN SANTA is a community service program of the Travis County Sheriff’s Office. Each year, thousands of sponsors and volunteers come together to provide toys and food for community members in need. Volunteers will prep donation boxes and monetary donations will be used to buy necessary items to uplift underprivileged children and their families in Travis County and senior residents of local retirement centers in Travis County.

Now more than ever, Central Texas Food Bank needs the help of the community to help feed those that have been impacted by wage loss during the pandemic. Central Texas Food Bank has a variety of ways for others to give back including, gifting a donation in honor of a friend or family member and donating a check out at local stores such as Target and Sprouts. Join Central Texas Food Bank on their mission is to nourish hungry people and lead the community in the fight against hunger.

The Junior League of Austin celebrates their 34th annual Coats for Kids Drive and Distribution, providing over 30,000 warm winter coats to Central Texas children in need. To Participate, drop off gently used coats at your local Jack Brown Cleaners between November 9 and December 10. Monetary donations are also accepted. As little as $20 will purchase a new coat for a child. Visit Coats for Kids Drive to learn more about their available volunteer opportunities.

Meals on Wheels helps provide meals, safety-checks, and human connection to your neighbors in need year-round and especially during the holidays. They’ll ensure that homebound older adults in Central Texas receive life-saving food, social services, and friendship from caring volunteers! Your donation will provide delivered holiday meals to our homebound neighbors. When you give to Meals on Wheels Central Texas, you’re ensuring that seniors stay connected and supported!

The Orange Santa Holiday Virtual Fundraiser provides help for members of the university community in need during the holiday season. Orange Santa serves hundreds of families, including over 700 children. Funds will purchase gifts, toys and meals for participating families. Orange Santa partners with the Hispanic Faculty and Staff Association (HFSA) in promoting their John Treviño Jr. Holiday Assistance Program, a companion project that provides assistance with a holiday meal.

Photo Credit: Salvation Army

The Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program provides new clothing and toys for children of families in need through the support of donors like you. Found in local malls, and Walmart locations. Contributors remove one or more tags from the tree, scan the barcode, and purchase appropriate gifts for the child or children described on the tags. To accomplish this, The Salvation Army depends on the generosity of individual donors, corporations, and organizations. Help make the holidays brighter for 7,000+ children by picking up your angle today!

The annual ThunderCloud Subs Turkey Trot is going virtual this year giving you the flexibility to run your race from any location at your own pace. Record your time for the 5-mile and 1-mile walk/run and see how you stack up against others in your race. Kids will also have fun warm-up activities and a neighborhood walk/run.ThunderCloud Subs donates all of the proceeds from the Turkey Trot directly to Caritas of Austin, a local non-profit whose mission is to prevent and end homelessness for people in the Greater Austin-area.

The mission of Toys for Tots Foundation is to assist the U. S. Marine Corps in providing a tangible sign of hope to economically disadvantaged children during Christmas. In partnership with the community, the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program raises funds to provide toys to supplement the collections of local Toys for Tots campaigns. Get involved by donating to the Toy for Tots online fundraiser.

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