Thanksgiving is a great time to give back and get involved in your community! The Austin area has many opportunities to get hands on for the holidays, we hope to see you at some of them.
The Central Texas Food Bank offers opportunities all the way until the day before Thanksgiving, November 23, 2016. Monday through Saturday they have two shifts, 9 am to 12 pm and 1:30 to 4:30 pm with an additional shift on Tuesday and Thursdays from 6 pm to 8:30 pm. Each shift can us the support of up to 120 volunteers which will sort food donations at the Food Bank to prepare for distribution through its partner agencies across Central Texas. Warehouse volunteers help ensure all the food distributed is safe, healthy and high quality by inspecting, cleaning, sorting, boxing and making food donations ready for distribution. You can see available shifts and sign up on their sign up page.
One of a kind, Austin Empty Bowl Project, is celebrating its 20th anniversary on November 20th at the Central Texas Food Bank. It’s the perfect combination of food, art and community with all benefits going to children’s hunger programs including Central Texas Food Bank, Meals on Wheels and More. Attendees purchase a handcrafted bowl for $20, local restaurants fill it with soup and you stay and enjoy the music. As an added benefit you get to keep the bowl! You can also volunteer to help with the event!
The HEB Feast of Sharing takes place at Parmer Events Center on November 22, 2016 3-9 pm. This is Austin’s largest community Thanksgiving meal with the help of HEB providing 14,000 meals to hungry Austinites. This event needs 1,400 volunteers to plate and serve food, do crafts with children in attendance, and many other things. There are two shifts available 3 to 6:30 pm and 6 to 9 pm, sign up here!
Doc & Gayle Young Food Drive celebrates its 30th year! If you are a member of the Austin Apartment Association or can be the guest of someone who is they need volunteers for the Delivery Day on November 22, 2016. The Austin Housing Authority, the Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services Rainbow Room, SafePlace, Foundation Communities and food pantries in surrounding counties all benefit from this food drive.
One way to get involved and stay active too is the Thundercloud Sub’s Turkey Trot benefiting Caritas on Thanksgiving Day! You can also volunteer November 19-24th to help with packet distribution, man a water table at the race and more. All proceeds benefit Caritas of Austin, which supports local refugees, low-income and homeless people. Thundercloud has raised more than $2.5 million for Caritas since the event began in 1991.
Operation Turkey is a volunteer organization that serves the homeless and less fortunate on Thanksgiving Day. Each Thanksgiving, Operation Turkey organizes local teams of volunteers throughout a community to cook, prepare, package and deliver thousands of hot meals and provide other necessities to people in need. In 2015, the organization provided 30,000 meals in ten cities, in five states, with the help of 10,000 volunteers across America. The organization is 100% volunteer, with no paid employees, allowing all funds raised to go toward the cost of preparing, packaging, and delivering meals. Operation Turkey is continuing its growth and expects to provide 40,000 meals to the homeless and less fortunate in 2016. There are many options to donate your time and get involved with this mission.
Each year, Meals on Wheels has hundreds of home-bound Austin clients signed up to signed up to receive holiday meals. Not only are you delivering their Thanksgiving meal, but you are also giving them the comfort and company everyone should have on Thanksgiving. Great for families and friends, sign up to deliver as many meals that day as you can handle.
As you begin to finalize your Thanksgiving plans this year, consider volunteering for one of these wonderful causes to help out ones in need in our community. The holiday season is a great time to give thanks for what we have and share with others around us.