It’s easy to get caught up in shopping, dining, party-going, and traveling during the holidays in our affluent Austin area bubbles. The continual bustle also makes it easy to forget that there are so many families, children, and animals in need that would be beyond blessed for someone to bring them a warm blanket, serve them Christmas dinner, or fulfill a few items on their wishlist. There are so many ways to give back and meet needs in the Austin area…if you don’t have the resources to give financially, you can always volunteer your time.
Here are a few Austin area favorites that are local and easy for you and your family to get involved with!
Partnerships for Children Holiday Wishes
Every holiday season, Partnerships for Children needs volunteers to help purchase christmas presents for foster children in Central Texas. The kids who are in CPS care get to fill out a wish list with three things things they really want for Christmas, they give the wishlist to their caseworkers, and then volunteers get to shop for the specific items on these wishlists. Last year, Partnerships for Children provided gifts to more than 5,500 children in Central Texas. You can make a donation, sponsor a child, or send in general gifts of toys. Deadline is December 13th! For more information, contact [email protected]
Center for Child Protection Teddy Bear Tuesday
Giving Tuesday, also known as Teddy Bear Tuesday at the Center for Child Protection, is a global generosity movement happening on (or before) December 3. When a child victim visits the Center for the first time, they are given a new teddy bear or stuffed animal to help provide comfort and a sense of healing during a difficult time. That’s over 2,000 teddy bears each year! The goal of Teddy Bear Tuesday is to raise a year’s supply of teddy bears for child abuse victims. Donate a teddy bear or stuffed animal through amazon: https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/1JL0PQV6L2RJK/ref=hz_ls_biz_ex Or give financially here: https://centerforchildprotection.org
Community First! Village Home for Christmas
You can help bring holiday joy to those with no family or no place to call home this Christmas season. Community First! Village is a community that provides affordable, permanent housing and a supportive community for men and women coming out of chronic homelessness. You can make a difference by either volunteering your time or donating financially toward a safe place to sleep and a warm meal for someone in need. To donate visit: https://mlf.org/home-for-christmas/ To Volunteer: https://mlf.org/volunteer-community-first/
Salvation Army Angel Tree
Give a gift to a local in need…it’s so simple but so meaningful! The Angel Tree program brings gifts to children and families in need in Travis and Williamson Counties. You can visit an Angel Tree at an area mall (Barton Creek Square, Lakeline Mall, or Hill Country Galleria) and choose a name from the tree to donate to. You can also sign up online to sponsor an Angel. Then purchase gifts for the specific “Angel” and bringing them unwrapped to a drop-off location. You can also donate money to help the Salvation Army purchase gifts for the holidays. Deadline is December 14th. For more information, contact [email protected] To register online visit: https://angel-tree-austin.herokuapp.com
Austin Police Operation Blue Santa
APD’s Operation Blue Santa helps families in need by delivering holiday meals along with wrapped Christmas presents for boys and girls. You can support Blue Santa by donating new, unwrapped toys at locations across Austin. Volunteers are also needed to adopt a specific family and sponsor their meal and gifts. Of course you may also give financially to Operation Blue Santa. Donation collection ends December 13. Click here for more info: https://www.bluesanta.org/drop-off-toys
Central Texas Food Bank
The Food Bank, Whole Foods Market and Capital Metro have partnered for the 2019 Stuff The Bus campaign, which helps families in need receive a full holiday meal. This program actually fills a Cap Metro bus (or two!) with food for the hungry. You can donate non-perishable food items December 12-14 at Whole Foods Domain or Whole Foods Downtown. Whole Foods customers may also make cash donations to the food bank when checking out. More info: https://www.centraltexasfoodbank.org/events/stuff-bus
Austin Pets Alive!
You can support APA!’s mission to provide care for homeless animals and keep Austin a no-kill city by donating financially or attending one of their fundraiser events on December 8th. A Very Pupper Holiday Paw-ty or Holiday Charit Rocktacular. Visit their website to learn about events: https://www.austinpetsalive.org/events Click here to donate: https://www.austinpetsalive.org/donate APA always needs foster families too so if you’re in town for the holiday, why not foster an animal? https://www.austinpetsalive.org/foster
Austin Humane Society
There are so many ways you can support the animals of the Austin Humane Society during this holiday season! Send a lifesaving donation, shop at one of their partners that donates from every purchase, adopt a pet over the holidays, or volunteer your time. AHS also has Adoption Vouchers if you would like to GIVE someone a pet that they can pick out themselves. There is no deadline for donations, but please donate today. Follow this link to learn how you can make a difference: http://www.austinhumanesociety.org/holiday-giving/
How will you give back this holiday season?
What’s your favorite charity organization?