At United Way for Greater Austin, we believe that anyone can be a philanthropist. Any donation, no matter how small, of time or money makes a difference. Fortunately, living in Austin provides you with many opportunities to give back to organizations that are working to improve the world we live in, both locally and globally. From restaurants, clothing stores, volunteer-based organizations, coffee shops and more, you can discover a variety of ways to contribute and show your support for amazing causes in traditional and non-traditional ways. Here is a guide to help you have the most philanthropic day possible in Austin:
7 a.m. – Wake up and head to TOMS Roasting Co. on South Congress to start your morning off right with a fresh cup of coffee. TOMS Roasting CO. Austin serves a selection of fair trade, direct trade and blend coffee. Proceeds from coffee purchases go towards providing water to people in need. Your purchase from Toms Roasting Co. supports health improvement, increased economic opportunity, access to education and job creation.
Location: 1401 S Congress Ave.
Hours of Operation: Monday – Friday 6 a.m. – 8 p.m. Saturday 7 a.m. – 9 p.m., Sunday 7 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Phone Number: 512-350-2115
9 a.m. – Get your workout in and bond with cute animals in need! Take a dog for a run through the RuffTail Runner’s program, which collaborates with Austin Pets Alive!’s Town Lake Animal Center, Pflugerville Pets Alive! and the Bastrop County Animal Shelter. By volunteering with RuffTail Runners, you help local shelter dogs get some much-needed fresh air and sunshine, while getting some exercise in yourself! Getting dogs out of their shelter environments makes them healthier and happier, which can help them become more adoptable.
Location: 1156 West Cesar Chavez
Hours of operation: 8 a.m. – 7 p.m., seven days a week, as conditions allow.
11 a.m. – Grab groceries while listening to live music at the Hope Farmers Market. HOPE Farmers Market supports small urban and rural growers in a way that allows these farmers to earn extra revenue, while linking them to consumers through an exchange of high-quality produce. The Sunday market is the longest operating market in East Austin and strives to support a local food system, while increasing accessibility and awareness to healthy food. HOPE Farmers Market vendors offer a range of products including, clothing, jewelry, farmers, ranchers, art, garden supplies and more.
Location: 412 Comal Street
Hours of operation: Sundays 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Phone number: 512-553-1832
2 p.m. – Go thrift shopping at Top Drawer Thrift Store to find some vintage gems. Top Drawer Thrift Store has been operating since 1993, and all proceeds from the sale of donated merchandise benefit Project Transitions, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing supportive living, housing and hospice to people with HIV and AIDS.
Location: 4902 Burnet Rd.
Hours of operation: Monday – Saturday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Phone number: 512-454-5161
4 p.m. – Volunteer at Austin Yellow Bike Project, an initiative designed to put bikes on the streets of Austin and Central Texas. The Earn-a-Bike program allows one to earn a bike at the end of their volunteering journey after completing two main tasks. The first task is to learn the basic bicycle repair tactics. The second is to volunteer for at least 24 hours within a three-month period. Once both tasks are completed, you are eligible to pick out a bike to keep as your own! The Earn-a-Bike program is a well-balanced program that teaches patience and a strong sense of responsibility, while simultaneously promoting eco-friendly transportation!
Location: 1216 Webberville Road
Hours of Operation: Hours vary on a daily basis so be sure to check out the online schedule
Phone Number: 512-524-5299
7 p.m. – De-stress and give back to your own body at the Amala Foundation Sanctuary Yoga. After a busy day of being out and about, you can wind down by attending one of the many classes Sanctuary Yoga offers. Sanctuary Yoga is Austin’s only non-profit yoga studio. Proceeds from each class benefit the Amala Foundation youth programs, a humanitarian service organization that teaches youth to live in unity, service compassionately and lead peacefully. A large portion of the youth groups the Amala Foundation serves include refugee and immigrant children that have experienced poverty, religious persecution, child labor, gang violence, neglect and more. The Amala Foundation works to provide a safe, positive environment for these adolescents to be supported in, while healing from their past experiences.
Location: 1006 S. 8th St.
Hours of Operation: Click here to view weekly calendar
Phone number: 512-476-8884
Rates: Regular classes- $12, 1:30 p.m. classes – $5, 9 a.m. classes are all donation-based.
This list does not touch on even half of the ways one can give back in a city as philanthropic as ours; the opportunities are endless! Supporting local organizations is one of the many ways to encourage philanthropy in Austin. Have more ideas on ways to have the most philanthropic day in Austin ever? Tell us on Twitter @uwatx!