The holidays are full of traditions from baking gingerbread cookies and drinking hot cocoa to curling up on the couch to enjoy a classic holiday movie. This time of year, for most of us, is accompanied by nostalgia and joy.
Unfortunately, many families in Austin are barely able to celebrate the holidays. At United Way for Greater Austin (UWATX) we talk a lot about the two very different sides of Austin. Austin is the live music capital of the world, a rapidly expanding tech hub, one of the coolest places to live and yet, it’s also one of the most economically segregated cities in the country. Many parents in our community struggle to put food on the table each day and live paycheck-to-paycheck year round.
The holiday season often puts an undue burden on many Austin families. As you celebrate, we encourage you to spread your joy a little further, to your neighbors in need. Because giving back and is a part of our DNA at United Way, we hope that this blog will provide you with simple and meaningful ways to make fighting poverty easy and enjoyable this holiday season.
1. Donate to UWATX directly:
The easiest way to fight to end poverty is by donating to UWATX this holiday season. All gifts are welcome.
Team up with co-workers or family members to help gather items to help families in need. Click the link for more details and stay tuned for upcoming seasonal drives.
Fulfill a family wish list through the Jeremiah Program Holiday Happiness initiative. Deliver unwrapped gifts and empower clients and parents to experience the joy of wrapping and presenting the gift to their child.
Make a difference by spending time with hospice patients. Holidays are all about sharing time with family and friends. Elevate someone’s quality of life by keeping them company and listening to their stories.
Make a measurable impact by coming together with likeminded professionals to learn about issues affecting Greater Austin and how you can be a part of the solution.
- Women United is a female-driven philanthropic community focused on improving early childhood education in Austin.
- Young Leaders Society is a professional network of men and women under 40 who want to use their resources to influence children and families experiencing poverty.
6. Gather a group and volunteer with Austin Creative Reuse:
Gather a group of friends and sign up to support Austin Creative Reuse through a variety of flexible projects that promote conservation, sustainability and waste reduction in our community.
7. Sign up to help out with Operation Clean Clothes:
Make a difference in the lives of the homeless community by increasing their self-esteem and confidence through having clean clothes. Sign up to assist with laundry services and empower homeless individuals.
8. Talk to your company about becoming a corporate partner:
Get paid in warm fuzzies as well as professional development by running an employee giving campaign with UWATX. Join the more than 200 companies who run campaigns each year and provide the community with the essential and invaluable support they need.
9. Share this 2-1-1 Holiday meal calendar:
Need is often invisible. Share the 2-1-1 Holiday Meal Calendar with your social network to ensure that everyone, even people you wouldn’t expect, have access to a warm meal during the holidays.
10. Support our Community Investment Grant (CIG) funded partners:
Check out our awesome CIG partners. Each partner is unique and does extremely important work in the community. Visit their websites to learn more about how you can support our mission through them by donating your time or money.
United Way for Greater Austin (UWATX) and Hands On Central Texas (HOCT) are inviting volunteers to join us for MLK Day of Service, on January 13, 2018. We hope you’ll consider honoring Dr. King’s legacy of service by volunteering for the MLK Boulevard clean up.
A growing number of volunteers come out each year to clean up MLK Boulevard between Chicon and Hwy 183.
12. Create a Team for Ruthless Good, The Great Austin Scavenger Hunt
Join us for our second annual citywide scavenger hunt and fundraiser on April 7, 2018. It’s a great incentive to help with your “be more active” or “give back” New Year’s resolutions. All ages are welcome and the money you raise through participation will change thousands of lives, right here in Austin.
Check out the photos from last year, you won’t want to miss this unique and fun event.
As you spend time with you family and friends sharing food, looking at holiday lights, watching movies and more, make giving back a tradition for your family. This holiday season, you have what it takes to fight poverty in our community.
Thank you and Happy Holidays from all of us at UWATX!