For some, the holidays are the happiest time of the year; for others, among the most difficult. For all of the organizations below, there has never been a better time to organize collectively to ensure the well-being of the greater Austin community. Volunteering time and effort reminds us that we are in this together, from all walks of life, with a broad range of abilities as well as struggles. Substantial need exists all year long, not just throughout the next few weeks; let’s make meaningful contributions well into this holiday season, the new year, and beyond!
- The Junior League of Austin is conducting its 30th annual Coats for Kids Drive, providing coats to kids in need throughout Central Texas. Volunteers are needed to help organize and distribute coats on Saturday, December the 10th at the Palmer Events Center. Over 35,000 coats are expected to be in the hands of new owners by the end of the day. Sign up and help keep kids warm this winter! Coats For Kids
- The mission of the Young Women’s Alliance has been to encourage the success and well-being of women in the Central Texas community, whether thru professional development or encouraging healthy activities. In that spirit, consider volunteering time or goods to the St. Louise House, whose endeavors provide housing and essential services to women and children experiencing homelessness in area. St. Louise House
- SAFE Austin (Stop Abuse For Everyone) strives every day to provide safety for individuals and families affected by domestic violence or sexual exploitation or abuse. SAFE organizes a Sponsor a Family program every year, which allows a donor to be assigned to shop for holiday gifts for a family or individual who is a client at SafePlace. Requested items range from holiday gifts for children, to utility deposits to relocate an individual to a safe housing unit. SAFE Austin – Sponsor a Family
- If outdoor activity is more up your alley, check out opportunities with the City of Austin to clean various sites along the shoreline or directly in the water of Lady Bird Lake this season. Your efforts help to maintain and beautify the lake and keep the area a safe green space for friends and family to enjoy year-round. The next clean-up date is December the 10th; sign up now and enjoy skyline views while making a difference! Lady Bird Lake Cleanup
- Meals On Wheels of Central Texas distributes over 3,000 meals each day to homebound seniors and people with disabilities, as well as provides crucial services like in-home care, grocery shopping, and home repairs. Consider donating your time to delivering a meal this season, or getting a group together once a month for HOPE to bag non-perishable goods for those in need. There’s even a PALS division at Meals On Wheels to help with pet transportation for the elderly! Meals On Wheels
- With many of us traveling out of town to visit loved ones over the holidays, the lack of helping hands for our furry friends can put an undue burden on the exemplary staff at our local shelters. Austin Pets Alive! now offers online orientation for new volunteers so you can complete at your own pace prior to heading in for volunteering. Take the opportunity this year to provide a bit of cheer via long walks and head scratches to the wonderful pets awaiting their forever homes. Volunteer with Austin Pets Alive!