Please tell us about yourself!

Miss Bean wants to know!

I feel like you know everything about me, probably more than you want to know. Now, please tell me a little about yourself.

We’ve created a 10-question reader survey to find out who you are and how you interact with Central Texas nonprofits. The more we know about you, the better GivingCity Austin can serve you.

Please click here to take the GivingCity Reader Survey. Thanks for your help and support!

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Free Thanksgiving Meals in Central Texas, from Food Bank

Thanksgiving Feast of SharingMany of us are making do with less this year. Some of us less than others.

I’ve learned that we get a wide range of people who come across this blog, so we can’t just post “how to help” content without also listing “how to get help” as well.

So I’ve divided this special Thanksgiving post into three categories. Why Help, How to Help, and How to Get Help. Here’s hoping you’re in the middle.

WHY HELP

This one’s easy. The Capital Area Food Bank has created this amazing site called Hunger is Unacceptable. Consider these facts from the site… then think about you’re going to spend your Thanksgiving.

  • 1 in 5 people Austin food bank serves experience the physical pain of hunger.
  • 41% of Austin food bank clients are children.
  • Almost half of Austin food bank clients have at least one working adult at home.

HOW TO HELP

The good news is, this one is hard. Nonprofits tell me that volunteers spots for Thanksgiving meal events fill up by mid-October, so if you haven’t signed up yet, you’re probably too late.

But, of course, there’s a very simple way to redeem your tardiness. Donate. Here. Done. Enjoy your Thanksgiving.

HOW TO GET HELP

Here is a list created by the Capital Area Food Bank of places where anyone can get a free Thanksgiving Meal in and around Austin. Many of these places offer clothing and other items besides food.

11/18/2010 Thursday

Travis County Health and Human Services, NW Rural Community Center
11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
(512) 267-3245
18649 FM1431 Ste 6A Jonestown Austin, TX 78645
Open to the Public – Free

City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department, Montopolis Recreation Center
6:00 p.m.
(512) 385-5931
1200 Montopolis Dr. Austin, TX 78741
Open to the Public – Free

City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department, Givens Recreation Center
7:00 p.m.
(512) 928-1982
3811 E. 12th St. Austin, TX 78721
Open to the Public – Free

11/19/2010 Friday

Travis County Health and Human Services, EAST RURAL COMMUNITY CENTER
11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
(512) 272-5561 / 278-0414
600 W. Carrie Manor St. Manor Austin, TX 78653
Primarily for Precinct 1 – No one turned away

Southside Community Center
6:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m.
(512) 392-6694
518 S. Guadalupe St. San Marcos, TX 78666
Open to the Public – Free

11/20/2010 Saturday

Rosewood-Zaragosa Neighborhood Center (sponsored by Mt. Carmel Grand Lodge)
11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
(512) 972-6740
2808 Webberville Rd. Austin, TX 78702
Open to the Public – Free

City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department, CANTU/PAN AM RECREATION CENTER
11:00 a.m. –2:00 p.m.
(512) 476-9193
2100 E. 3rd Austin, TX 78702
Open to the Public – Free

Helping Hands Center
11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
(512) 472-2298
1179 San Bernard St. Austin, TX 78702
Open to the Public – Free. Meal at Olivet Baptist Church

Shoreline Christian Center at East Campus
12:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
(512) 983-1048
East 6th and San Marcos St Austin, TX 78702
Open to the Public – Free. Distribution of 1000 sleeping bags, backpacks and socks

St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church
5:00 p.m.
(512) 251-0698
14311 Wells Port Dr. Austin, TX 78728
Open to the Public – Free

11/21/2010 Sunday

Austin Area Interreligious Ministries (AAIM) at University Baptist Church
Meal follows 3:30 p.m. Service
2130 Guadalupe Austin, TX 78705
Pot Luck served after the service -not a meal

11/22/2010 Monday

Mobile Loaves & Fishes at First Baptist Church
5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
(512) 328-7299
First Baptist Church 901 Trinity St. Austin, TX 78701
Open to the Public – Free

City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department, Virginia L. Brown Recreation Center
6:00 p.m.
(512) 974-7865
7500 Blessing Ave. Austin TX 78752
Open to the Public – Free

St. John Community Center
5:59 p.m. – Food Gone
(512) 972-5159
7500 Blessing Ave. Austin, TX 78752
Open to the Public – Free

11/23/2010 Tuesday

United Way / HEB Feast of Caring at Palmer Events Center
4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
(512) 421-1000-HEB Public Affairs
900 Barton Springs Rd Austin, TX 78704
Open to the Public – Free

City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department, Dove Springs Recreation Center
6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
(512) 447-5875
5801 Ainez Dr. AustinTX78744
Open to the Public – Free

11/24/2010 Wednesday

City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department, Parque Zaragosa Recreation Center
9:00 a.m. Service Project/ Lunch to follow
(512) 472-7142
2608 Gonzales St. Austin, TX 78702
Open to the Public – Free. For teens only

Baptist Community Center
1:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
(512) 472-7592
2000 E. 2nd St. Austin, TX 78702
Open to the Public – Free

11/25/2010 Thursday

North Austin Christian Church
11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
(512) 836-3282
1734 Rutland Dr. Austin, TX 78758
No one turned away – primarily for community around the church.


St. Louis Catholic Church

11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
(512) 454-0384
Wozniak Hall 7601 Burnet Rd Austin, TX 78757
Open to the Public – Free

Bethany United Methodist Church

11:30 a.m.–2:00 p.m.
(512) 258.6017
10010 Anderson Mill Rd. Austin, TX 78750
Open to the Public – Free

St. Martin’s Evangelical Lutheran Church
Noon – 2:00 p.m.
(512) 476-6757
605 W. 15th St. Austin, TX 78701
Open to the Public – Free


The Salvation Army Social Service Center

Noon – 5:00 p.m.
(512) 476-1111
501 E. 8th St. Austin, TX 78701
Open to the Public – Free

Ministry of Challenge
Noon – 3:00 p.m.
(512) 370-3960
1500 E. 12th Austin, TX 78702
Open to the Public – Free

Santa Cruz Catholic Church, Buda
Noon
(512) 415-4012
1100 Main St. Buda, TX 78610
Must RSVP

St. William’s Catholic Church
Noon – 2:00 p.m.
(512) 255-4473
620 Round Rock West Dr. 78681 Round Rock, TX 78610
Open to the Public – Free

For more information on how to get food, visit www.austinfoodbank.org/get-help/

Adopt a kid this holiday season, impact your own

One of my favorite parts of the holiday season as a child was always the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree. Every year, Mom would take me to go pick angels off the tree. We’d choose a boy near my age to adopt and I’d lead Mom through the clothing and toy departments, getting exactly what I thought that kid would want. Shopping for someone else my age was always a really exciting – and empowering – experience. I dreamt all year about that moment on Christmas morning when I opened my presents and was fortunate enough to always get exactly what I wanted. Being able to create for someone else the one thing I looked forward to all year made me feel like I could do anything.

It’s a testament to how impactful that experience was to me as a kid that I still remember it so vividly, three weeks away (!!!) from graduating from UT. If you’ve got children, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more meaningful way to spend the holidays with them. Of course, you don’t need to have your own kids to make someone else’s happy.

Luckily, there are plenty of opportunities to make someone’s holiday season. We’ve chronicled them in the latest GivingCity. If you’re short on cash, most of these events are looking for volunteers. If you’re short on time, most accept donations toward toy purchasing. No matter what you’ve got going on, you’ve got the opportunity to make the holidays happen for someone.

Advice for ending homelessness

!2 Baskets Magazine The latest issue of 12 Baskets Magazine has some heartbreaking stories, I think. You’ve got to read the one about Rain. (That’s her, left.) She’s a homeless girl who lives on the streets of Austin with her friends. She shouldn’t have to sleep on the street. She didn’t do anything wrong.

She did, however, get a ticket for violating Austin’s Sleep-Lie Ordinance, which prohibits anyone from, well, sitting or lying on a downtown street. (Austin is one of the few cities in the country that has such an ordinance.) She couldn’t possibly pay the ticket, but she still carries it in her backpack, along with tampons, a change of clothes, a blanket and a spiral with some of her drawings. These are all of her possessions. Everything she owns.

We could help her, and in fact, LifeWorks does. Probably a number of other basic needs and emergency needs nonprofits, too. If you support these nonprofits, you’re doing a good thing. But maybe there’s something else you could do…? Something that might prevent more girls like Rain from sleeping on the streets…?

Here are some things you could do:

  1. Be a good neighbor.
  2. Make up with your sister after that fight.
  3. Take the morning off of work to visit your friend’s kid in the hospital.
  4. Knock on the door of the old lady down the street, the one who just talks and talks, and ask her how she’s doing.
  5. Drive an hour out of your way to visit those cousins you haven’t seen in a while.
  6. When you’re out shopping for yourself and you see something your mother might like, get it for her even if it isn’t her birthday or anything.
  7. Send a card to your uncle that made you think of him.
  8. For heaven’s sake, babysit your sister’s children for one lousy Saturday night so she and her husband can remember what it feels like to be married for a few hours. Would it kill you?

 

A person falls through many, many cracks before they wind up living out of their car or on the streets, or in a weekly hotel or an abandoned building. What finally snaps and drops them to the bottom is their ties to people who love them.

LEARN MORE ABOUT HUNGER & HOMELESSNESS IN AUSTIN THIS WEEK. MANY EVENTS AND OPPORTUNITIES TO CHOOSE FROM. VISIT http://hhweekaustin.com/

Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week

Austin’s Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week is almost upon us; it takes place November 13-19. Awareness days/weeks/months are interesting things: as Austinites, we’re all pretty aware that homelessness exists – we see it every day. And we know that people go hungry. So why have an awareness week for problems we all already know about?

Part of it is that we don’t understand the magnitude of the problem. Nearly one in five adults and one in four children in Austin struggle to meet basic nutritional needs. A 2009 census of the homeless in Austin counted 2585 homeless men and womyn, barely more than half of them in shelters. Then there are the nuances of the problem that we’re not aware of: the relationship between homelessness and mental illness, chronic medical problems, or legal obstacles like obtaining identification.

So Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week is a great opportunity for Austinites. There are events of every sort going down: opportunities to give, volunteer, learn, and party! Here are a few of the events happening. You can find the full schedule here.

Homeless Memorial Sunrise Service

House the Homeless - Homeless Memorial Service

What: Memorial service for the homeless men and womyn who lost their lives this year living on the streets of Austin.

When/Where: 6:58 am Nov 14, Homeless Memorial & Tree of Remembrance at 1st and Riverside

No More Hunger Luncheon

What: Educational luncheon with representatives from Capital Area Food Bank and Meals on Wheels and More.

When/Where: 11:30am-1pm November 15, California Pizza Kitchen at Barton Creek Mall (2901 S Capital of Texas Highway)

Free Showing of The Soloist

What: Free showing of The Soloist, a 2009 film dealing with homelessness and mental illness starring Jamie Foxx and Robert Downey, Jr.

When/Where: 7:00 pm November 17, Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar (1120 S Lamar Blvd)

The Dynamics of Domestic Violence and its Connection to Homelessness

What: Interactive presentation on the connection between homelessness and domestic violence, hosted by Safeplace.

When/Where: 3-5pm November 18, Safeplace (2001 South Chicon St)

Understanding Youth Homelessness in Austin

What: Educational presentation on youth homelessness in Austin with interactive simulations and Q&A with Lifeworks staff.

When/Where: 4-7pm November 19, Lifeworks (408 W 23rd st)

Nonprofits: Free Laptops!

All right, nonprofit professionals, quiz time: Does your organization need a few extra laptops? Would you like them for free? (I’ll give you a hint: The answer to both questions is yes).

You’re in luck, then! The Austin/San Antonio-based accounting firm Padgett, Stratemann, & Co. is accepting applications for it’s biannual laptop giveaway program. They’ve got 40 laptops to give away, and non-profits in the Austin or San Antonio areas can apply for up to three each. That means at least 14 organizations will be selected, and the application’s so short there’s no good reason not to apply. Applications are due November 15, so get on it!

Says managing partner John Wright: “Updated technology is important to the success of all organizations, and non-profits are often operating on tight budgets. While we give as a firm, we wanted to create an initiative that addresses a specific and meaningful need within leading non-profits.” Sounds like they’ve done enough accounting for nonprofits to get a pretty good feel for the whole “tight budget” thing.

Interested in applying? You can find the application here.