Thanksgiving is a time to enjoy the presence of family, friends, and loved ones. It’s a time for gathering around a table, having your fill of turkey, dressing, and pie, and reliving some of your favorite memories together from years past. Additionally, Thanksgiving is a time to pause, be intentional, and give. While the holidays can be such a sweet time for many people, they can also be pretty tough for a lot of folks as well. There are thousands of people in our city who are experiencing extreme poverty and/or homelessness this Thanksgiving season, and one key way you can harness the spirit of giving that Thanksgiving naturally invokes is by finding a unique way for your team to band together and serve others as a company.
If giving back and supporting your community is something that you’d like to partake in this year, we’ve provided a list of organizations below who are all more than worthy recipients of your time and care. There are options that include simple donations, as well as options that involve actually going out and volunteering your time together. Whatever you do, big or small, know that you and your team can truly do something special to lift up fellow Austinites in need this Thanksgiving season.
If you would like to get together with your coworkers and give back during the Thanksgiving holiday, here are just a few ways of how you can make a difference!
Donate to the 2019 Coats For Kids Coat Drive
What Coats For Kids does: Coats For Kids will give 30,000 coats to Central Texas children in need this winter.
What they need: In order to provide 30,000 warm coats, Coats For Kids is in great need of, well, coats! Donating is easy. You can drop your gently-used coats in a bin at any of our Austin Common Desk locations or give financially online. Every $20 buys a new coat. Adult-sized jackets are also needed for our Central Texas teens.
Get together as a team and: round up some coats until November 22nd, when the Coat Drive ends. Click here for other ways to help out! Coat Distribution Day is December 7th!
Support nonprofit projects at the BACA Center for Round Rock Family Volunteer Day
What Family Volunteer Day does: Family Volunteer Center’s mission is to partner with nonprofit agencies and community members to develop, support and promote volunteerism. Their goal is to build strong and connected communities through the power of volunteerism within our homes, neighborhoods, and workplaces.
What they need: November 23 is the center’s annual Round Rock Family Volunteer Day. They could use some volunteers to come and assist at the Round Rock Family Volunteer Day at the BACA Center from 8:30am- 12:30pm. Don’t forget your canned food at home! The BACA Center is also hosting a Can Drive.
Get together as a team and: support projects like Meals on Wheels, Senior Access, Round Rock Area Serving Center, Re:Cancer, Hope Alliance, RRISD Star Mentoring Program and others at the Volunteer Day. Don’t want to leave at 12:30pm? Stay and help clean up until 2:30pm! This is a fun way to give your time generously with your coworkers and get involved in the community. Make sure to register here.
Help fight hunger with Austin Empty Bowl Project at the Central Texas
What Austin Empty Bowl Project does: Austin potters ban together to fight hunger by crafting handmade bowls that you can purchase, fill up with gourmet soup and bread, and slurp while enjoying live music. Each bowl is $25, but if you bring a friend it’s 2 for $40! All donations go to Kids Cafe and Meals on Wheels’ Meals for Kids. According to their website, Kids Cafe works to alleviate child hunger by providing a safe place to receive a nutritious meal when food might otherwise not be available to them, like after school.
What they need: Simply your attendance and participation! Buy a beautifully crafted, ceramic bowl and take it home. Let the full bowl of soup in front of you be a vision of filling every child’s bowl in Central Texas! If you want to volunteer with this project, check out their website for more details.
Get together as a team and: attend the Austin Empty Bowl Project the Sunday before Thanksgiving. This year the event is from 11am-3pm on November 24th.
Volunteer at H-E-B Feast of Sharing at the Palmer Events Center
What the H-E-B Feast of Sharing does: H-E-B and United Way of Greater Austin are partnering together to host the largest community Thanksgiving meal in Austin providing over 14,000 Central Texans with dinner.
What they need: They need volunteers like you! The only way they are able to provide so many with Thanksgiving dinner is because of the many helping hands that turn up on November 26th.
Get together with your team and: sport your group gear (Common Desk T-shirts anyone?) as you show up to one of the two shifts on November 26th to help make the magic happen. The first shift is 3pm-6pm and the second is 6pm-9pm. For more information, you can check out their website. Make sure to register ahead of time!
Join Operation Turkey all over Austin
What Operation Turkey does: Operation Turkey hand delivers over 60,000 meals to the homeless on Thanksgiving Day. This year their goal is to provide 75,000 meals, care packages, and clothing donations all over the United States.
What they need: Operation Turkey needs your help by cooking, cleaning, delivering, packaging, or plating. According to their website, there is always a job to be done.
Get together as team and: wake up November 28th, Thanksgiving morning, to warm the hearts of those who didn’t think they would eat a Thanksgiving meal from 8am-12pm. If you can’t make it, no worries, Operation Turkey is always accepting donations online.
Grab a coworker, or your whole team and make the decision to give back this year! It doesn’t have to be anything super big, even the smallest donation or effort will go along way. We hope that by providing you with specific places and specific needs, that we can make giving back a little bit easier!
If there is another organization that is near and dear to your heart and that could use donations or volunteers during the holiday season, let us know and we can add them to this list!
We hope you have a feastful and festive Thanksgiving!