Here are eight easy ways you can spread holiday cheer by helping Austinites in need this season.
Capital Area Food Bank of Texas
This season, your dollar will go far to provide food for those in need. The Beaumont Foundation is matching monetary donations, so for every dollar you donate, the Capital Area Food Bank can provide six meals. You can also take part in the #NoHungryHolidays campaign at participating coffee shops. You'll be raising money — and awareness — with a simple caffeine fix.
Project Transitio ns
Project Transitions is dedicated to helping locals living with HIV/AIDS by providing housing and other services. Make an easy online donation (and if you work at one of these places, your employer might match it), or purchase one of the items on the organization's wish list to support the cause.
Mobile Loaves & Fishes
Mobile Loaves & Fishes is always looking for volunteers to help feed Austin's homeless, but you can also easily donate money online. Or, purchase in-kind items, like kitchen utensils and day-to-day essentials, and drop them off at a participating location around town.
Austin Children's Shelter
The Austin Children's Shelter is a safe haven for families who have suffered from abuse. During the holidays, your monetary donation will be matched dollar-by-dollar by the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation.
LifeWorks provides physical and emotional resources to homeless kids and teens. The organization's annual Project Holiday Help is divided into two initiatives: A drive that collects backpacks, sleeping bags, blankets, clothing, and other cold weather necessities, and a gift card drive — think H-E-B, Target, and Wal-Mart — to help purchase these items.
The Housing Heroes initiative aims to end veteran homelessness in Austin by the end of the year. Housing Heroes is working with Caritas of Austin, Front Steps, The Salvation Army, and the Ending Community Homelessness Coalition to achieve this goal. While a big part of the effort is connecting veterans with landlords, the average Austinite can help by donating online to the Housing Heroes fund, which will provide financial security and assistance to those in need.
CASA of Travis County
This youth-focused organization assists the child welfare system through court-appointed representation. CASA is looking for monetary and gift card donations for children in foster care for its annual Holiday Toy Drive. You can easily donate online or send gift cards directly to the CASA offices.
Austin Humane Society
Our city's four-legged residents need help too. If you still have holiday shopping to do, check out the businesses that will give back to the Humane Society with your purchase. You can also donate directly to the Humane Society online — $20 provides a night of shelter for an animal this holiday season.
CultureMap is committed to shining a light on Austin-area nonprofits. Learn more about our first-ever CultureMap Austin Charity Challenge here.