Families Give Thanks, Volunteer Together

Thanksgiving Day is just around the corner, and with it comes time for individuals and families to reflect on what they hold near and dear.

Family Volunteer Day, held nationally on the Saturday before Thanksgiving each year, is an opportunity for parents and children to give back to their community together.

Started in 1992, this national day of philanthropy signals the beginning of the season of holiday giving and is an opportunity for families to give back as a unit.

United Way for Greater Austin is a proud participant in Family Volunteer Day, and hosted a Holiday Cheer event this past weekend. Families created ornaments, made cards and decorated bookmarks to accompany children’s books donated from the book drive!

More than 50 people attended this volunteer event, which compliments our upcoming Community Tree Lighting in St. John’s. The ornaments will be hung on the 15-foot tree, and the donated books will be distributed to underserved children at the Tree Lighting event.

Family volunteerism supports the community by shaping the volunteers and philanthropists of the future. Children who volunteer with their families learn the importance of civic engagement and giving back through first-hand experience. Children also benefit from volunteering by building confidence and self-esteem.

Interested in volunteer opportunities? We’ve complied a few options below!


Organize a drive to collect books or other materials for families in need

  • Click here to learn more about UWATX-sponsored holiday drives
  • Adopt a family. Local organizations such as Safeplace and Lifeworks have volunteer opportunities where individuals can adopt a family for the holiday and provide gifts and holiday meals
  • Check with your child’s teacher to find out more about needed materials for the classroom/school

Try a hands-on opportunity

Check out these online resources to find opportunities for families 

  • Little Helping Hands: a local nonprofit that coordinates scheduled family-friendly volunteer opportunities with a variety of community organizations
  • Hands On Central Texas: the volunteer center for United Way for Greater Austin that posts local events in need of volunteers on its searchable database, including family-friendly service days like the annual MLK Day of Service

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