Austin is a close-knit community of neighbors who work together and will gladly lend a helping hand to those in need. That spirit of community service is part of what makes Austin such a wonderful place to live. With so many wonderful options to give back, it’s easy to live out the Bible’s command to serve one another through love (Galatians 5:13). Here are just a few examples of ways you can get involved in serving the Austin community:
Sort Through Food Donations
At Central Texas Food Bank, volunteers are always needed to sort through food donations. The food bank relies heavily on volunteers to sort through the massive piles of donations in their warehouse and pull out what is salvageable. They have an extremely organized volunteer program with flexible shifts you can choose on short notice, and ongoing group volunteer programs for families and organizations.
Match an Inmate with an Interesting Book
The Inside Books Project works hard to promote literacy to the Texan inmate population, by providing inmates with books to read. Volunteers read the nearly 1500 inmate letter requests each month, choose an appropriate book from the thousands of catalogued donations, and prepare the mailing which includes a personal note.
Mentor a Refugee New to Austin
Caritas of Austin is a non-profit organization that reaches out to the homeless members of the Austin community, providing housing, food, employment and education services. Volunteers are also needed to help newly immigrated refugees and refugee families adjust to life in Austin. This could include help with daily tasks (transportation, finding employment, etc.), as well as mentoring and helping with English. This is a great opportunity for an individual with time and motivation to make an immediate, direct impact. Families can also mentor families, providing your whole family a meaningful opportunity to serve together.
Foster a Shelter Dog
Austin Dog Alliance provides extensive education and training services to Austin area dog owners. They also train and match service dogs with veterans and people in need. They first rescue a promising shelter dog, giving him a new chance at life, and then provide him with the care and training required to become an effective service dog. Austin Dog Alliance relies on volunteers to provide caring foster environments as dogs transition from shelters to the training program. This opportunity provides you and your family with the chance to save the life of a dog, and prepare him to faithfully serve his companion for years to come.
Build a Bike for a Neighbor in Need
Yellow Bike is a non-profit bicycle shop which provides parts, repair and bike repair education for the Austin community. Their skilled volunteers also build bicycles and donate them directly to low-income Austin adults and children in need of reliable transportation. Yellow Bike invites you to come and help build with them, even if you know nothing about bicycle repair. They are happy to teach you a new skill, and offer you the opportunity to pay it forward as you’re learning.