Christmas is just a few days away! It’s been a wonderful season this year and certainly full of giving, sharing, joy and love…just the way I like it! So, how can we keep the spirit alive all year long? Well, it starts with looking after Christmas.
For some reason, we seem to think we have to cram all of this goodness into about six weeks and then move on after the tree comes down and the ornaments go back into the box. Sure, Christmas might be over at midnight on December 25th, but the season of helping others and spreading joy can last a lifetime.
Thankfully, we live in a fabulous area full of many philanthropic opportunities…all we have to do is find what fits our schedule and how much time we would like to give…because giving actually makes us richer.
Here are some organizations that could use our help and support throughout the next year!
Lakeway Regional Hospital can always use teens 14+ and adult volunteers to provide support for various departments throughout the hospital. Lakeway Regional Hospital Volunteer Opportunities
Mobile Loaves and Fishes has over 17,000 volunteers help feed and clothe the homeless in the Austin area all year long. Areas of opportunity include make ready teams, delivering meals, garden preparation, harvesting, canning, maintenance, and more. Mobile Loaves and Fishes Volunteering
Hands on Central Texas is the United Way of Austin’s volunteer program that helps residents help others in their community. Throughout the year there are several Days of Caring and special events that need volunteers. http://www.handsoncentraltexas.org/
Any Baby Can is a child and family resource center that provides education, therapy and support to families who are found in need by a variety of local organizations. Volunteers of all levels of experience are needed in several positions. www.anybabycan.org
Susan G. Komen Austin provides support, outreach and national research in the fight against breast cancer. Volunteers are needed to help with Race for the Cure, special events, public policy, public relations, community outreach and more. www.komenaustin.org
Special Olympics Texas provides year-round sports training and competition opportunities for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Volunteers do not need any special skills, but can help with competitions, fundraisers, coaching, and office assistance or as a Fan in the Stands. www.sotx.org
SafePlace is a local program that works to end domestic violence. Volunteers are needed to work directly with families and individuals and provide assistance in clerical or administrative roles. Opportunities include accompanying survivors to court; answer hotline calls, plan children’s birthday parties, deliver toys to SafePlace for clients for the Holiday Giving Program and many more. www.safeplace.org/volunteer
Ladies of Charity Lake Travis Thrift Shop sells donated clothing, housewares, linens, toys, jewelry, furniture, antiques and much more. Volunteers are needed to work in the store and donations are welcome. Profits support a variety of charities in the Lake Travis area. www.laketravisthrift.com
Capital Area Food Bank of Texas is the largest hunger-relief charity in Central Texas and serves more than 48,000 people each week. Volunteers are always needed to help prepare food donations for distribution, assist with the mobile food pantry, help out at the St. John’s Community Food Center and more. Visit www.austinfoodbank.org/volunteer for a complete list of volunteer opportunities.
Austin Pets Alive! is a nonprofit animal rescue group committed to promoting and providing the resources, education and programs needed to eliminate the killing of homeless companion animals in Austin. The center is run almost entirely by volunteers. www.austinpetsalive.org
The Arc of the Capital Area provides individualized services to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Volunteer opportunities include helping clients at the Arc of Arts Studio and assisting at monthly socialization activities such as movie night and volunteering at special events, among others. www.arcofthecapitalarea.org
These are only a few of the many occasions one can find to lend a helping hand. I truly hope you will make it a priority in 2015 to donate your time, money and resources to make the world a better place.
If you or someone you know is interested in buying or selling real estate, please contact Mary Lynne Gibbs at 512.431.2403 or firstname.lastname@example.org. It would be an honor to earn your business!
*Image courtesy of www.freedigitalphotos.net.