This time of the year many of us are enjoying shopping, eating, traveling and just having a good time with family and friends. Sadly, there are others, right here in our community who may not be able to partake.
There are many wonderful local community based organizations who work hard to make the season bright and merry for all. I’m a big believer in Give Where You Live. Strong communities can only be built locally by everyone making an effort in whatever way they can.
Blue Santa Program
The Cedar Park Police Department is partnering with individuals, businesses and organizations in our community to provide families in need with toys to help make their children’s holiday season a little brighter. The Blue Santa Program provides assistance to, and shares Christmas experience with the less fortunate residents of Cedar Park. Please share this information for those you know who may qualify. Check for Registration and Donation Drop Off Locations HERE.
- There will be one last registration time on December 8 from 5-8:30 p.m. (Families must register in-person at registration location listed below.)
- Donations of new toys and cash are accepted through December 8.
- Toy handout day is Saturday, December 16, 2017 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Brown Santa Program
The Williamson County Brown Santa program provides assistance to families in Williamson County living outside the geographical city limits of any town or city within Williamson County that does not provide a similar program. Brown Santa donations are utilized to purchase toys, books and other items needed to make the children’s Christmas brighter. It is a registered corporation in the State of Texas that is operated under the direction of the Brown Santa Board of Directors and was granted non-profit tax exemption under 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Read More HERE.
Coats for Kids
On December 9, 2017, The Junior League of Austin will host the 31st annual Coats for Kids Distribution Day. Together with our longstanding partners —Jack Brown Cleaners, KVET, and KVUE — the JLA will provide more than 34,000 warm winter coats to Central Texas children in need. For More info on how to donate, volunteer or receive coats read HERE.
There are many opportunities to give around town. Just look for a Giving Tree when you are out and about. Many of the schools have Giving Trees. Ask your child to pick up a tag off the tree and help them shop for a gift for a local resident in need. I was proud of my son for picking up a tag on his own. He picked up one that said “Elderly – Scarf, Glove and Hat”. We picked out a nice set and he proudly took it to school. Local Giving Trees – Woof Gang Bakery Giving Tree. Saint Catherine of Siena Giving Tree. Hill Country Christmas Giving Trees, found in most schools.
YEAR ROUND GIVING
Reveal Resource Center
Reveal Resource Center is a nonprofit 100% volunteer 501(c)(3) food pantry and clothes closet in Cedar Park serving 300 to 400 families weekly. This represents 1,200 to 1,600 people. Each week RRC distributes 15,000 to 20,000 pounds of food with the help of 80 to 150 volunteer ‘servants’. Distribution of Food and Clothing takes place on Mondays from 7pm-8pm and Tuesdays from 9am-12pm. Get more info about how to Donate and Volunteer HERE.
Life Bridge Job Corps – Twin Lakes
Life Bridge Twin Lakes is a cooperative job readiness outreach of River City Hope Street, which has served the Austin area for over 15 years. The goal at Life Bridge Twin Lakes is to help local families thrive in life and work in a unified effort to serve our neighbors by providing job readiness classes, ESL and GED classes, mentorship, Bible study, and life skills development. Read More HERE
Hill Country Community Ministries
Hill Country Community Ministries is one of two food pantries in Central Texas to receive the Central Texas Food Bank, Starbucks Feeding America grant where we are rescuing food from 28 Starbucks in north Austin. In our very first month we rescued over 4,400 pounds of food to distribute to our community.
HCCM has started a new program called Fresh Food Fridays. They distribute fresh produce from their truck on Friday mornings in strategic areas of our community. They need volunteers to help sort and bag produce on Thursday afternoon/evenings, and to help distribute food on Friday mornings from 9 am – 11 am.
If you would like to help with this distribution of fresh produce in our community and can help us out, Get More Info Here.
Scheduled Distribution sites:
First Friday of each month – Bethany United Methodist Church
10010 Anderson Mill Road
Austin, TX 78750
9 AM – 11 AM
Second Friday of each Month – Travis County Jonestown Community Center
18649 FM 1431
Jonestown, TX 78645
9 AM – 11 AM
Third Friday of each month – Live Oak Unitarian Universalist Church
3315 El Salido Parkway
Cedar Park, TX 78613
9 AM – 11 AM
Fifth Friday of each month – Rolling Hills Community Church
6201 Lohman Ford Road
Lago Vista, TX 78645
9 AM – 11 AM
Hope Alliance Crisis Center
Hope Alliance assists those whose lives have been affected by family and sexual violence by providing services and developing partnerships that lead to hope, healing and prevention. This is a wonderful, local, grassroots organization. I personally donate to them with every closing. Lean more about donating and volunteering HERE.
The Dog Alliance
Even our furry friends need some help during the holiday season. A warm blanket, some extra treats, helping hands or some extra money to continue their mission of helping others though companionship and service. If you’d like to volunteer or donate get more info HERE.
Heart of Texas Lab Rescue
The Heart of Texas Lab Rescue is a non-profit 501(c)(3), all-volunteer organization based in Austin, Texas. Their mission is to rescue Labrador Retrievers from shelters, pounds, abandonment , and other situations, and place them in loving, caring homes. The HOT Lab Rescue serves Austin, San Antonio, and surrounding areas. It is HOTLR’s policy to accept and place dogs ONLY in the state of Texas. All Labradors are neutered/spayed, current on shots, and heartworm negative prior to being put up for adoption. The Rescue is currently foster-based but is hoping to purchase a facility soon. Read More HERE.
CARS Owens Garage – Hill Country Bible Church
CARS is a faith based youth development program designed to reach and connect with young people ages 14-24 in a vocational and recreational setting. The program teaches automobile ASE certified care and repair and basic life skills through mentoring. Get More Info HERE.
Meals on Wheels Central Texas
Meals on Wheels Central Texas seeks to nourish and enrich the lives of the homebound and other people in need through programs that promote dignity and independent living. Meals on Wheels Central Texas is one of the largest meal-delivery organizations in the state, distributing 3,000 meals each business day to homebound older adults and people with disabilities. Part of the Austin area community since 1972, MOWCTX believes in holistic case management and also offers the following services to our clients through our many programs: in home care; minor and major home repairs; grocery shopping assistance; a monthly supply of shelf-stable groceries; extra, daily, shelf-stable meals for the nutritionally at-risk; veteran services; problem-solving therapies; rural meal delivery; Alzheimer’s respite care; and pet food and pet health care for our clients’ dogs and cats. Read More HERE.
If you know of other local community organizations who could use our help, please let me know and I will add them. Give Where You Live.