Austin Donation and Volunteer Opportunities During Coronavirus Outbreak
Ways to help your neighbor during this trying time
By Katherine McNevins,
4:10PM, Mon. Mar. 16, 2020
COVID-19 has affected everyone and everything, including local nonprofits. Business closures led to blood drives being canceled. Our food bank has an increased need for services. You may be wondering how you can help, so here's just a few ways. Find more on our Community page, and remember, online donations to your favorite charity are always a good idea.
We Are Blood Urgently Needs Donations
With concerns around coronavirus growing and more companies implementing work-from-home policies, some mobile blood drives have been canceled and turnout has been low. There is a pressing need for donations, so the community is urged to find active mobile drives or go to a donor center today. Bonus: Donate before March 22 and get a voucher for Torchy’s chips & queso.
Food Bank Volunteers and Donations NeededCentral Texas Food Bank anticipates a dramatic increase in the need for their services in the coming weeks, and volunteer operations are still open. You can also donate online and start a virtual food drive; a $25 donation provides 100 meals for families in need.
Central Texas Food Bank
6500 Metropolis, 512/282-2111
Meals on WheelsMeals on Wheels Central Texas is currently suspending new volunteer training, but you can donate on their website to help make sure they're prepared to serve the most vulnerable in our community. They’ve started doing contactless delivery, and are prepared for the worst-case scenario. MOWCT has a backup plan with shelf-stable meals in case their hot meal delivery service must be suspended, so none of their clients will go hungry.
Austin Animal Center Needs Fosters
Austin Animal Center is closed to the public until at least March 30, meaning they will not be able to take in or adopt out any animals during this time. Their goal is to find emergency foster homes for 50% of the animals currently on-site, so please apply if you can. See AAC's Facebook page for details as well as tips for reuniting lost animals with their families while AAC is closed.
Central Texas Pig Rescue
CTPR is preparing to place an order for three weeks of feed in case somewhere down the supply chain there’s an issue that limits access to pig feed. They're aware that most of you are spending extra on your own families, but if you have an extra $16, you’ll cover the cost of one extra bag of feed. Any amount, even a dollar, helps to make sure the pigs don't go hungry.
El Buen Samaritano
El Buen Samaritano's food pantry anticipates an increased need for their services in the coming months. They are also supporting community partners in their efforts to provide food for the families and individuals they serve. Right now, the pantry is open Tuesdays-Fridays, 9am-noon.
Local nonprofit youth service organization Generation Serve has suspended volunteer activities through April 6, but published a thoughtful list of activities and ways to help the community from home. Create cards and wallets, become a translator, start online fundraisers, learn and serve in nature, and more. Check out their post for all the details.
Foundation Communities has suspended volunteer operations, but you can donate to their Emergency Assistance Fund to help their residents who are experiencing health concerns and lost wages. The Emergency Assistance Fund will help affected residents afford rent, utilities, household items, necessary transportation and more.
HC4A/Shalom Austin School Supplies Fundraiser
HC4A and Shalom/Austin had set a date of April 19 for their eighth annual event raising funds for school supplies for Austin-area homeless children, which last year supported over 1,300 children. The April event is now canceled due to coronavirus, but you can still help reach the fundraising goal of $34,000 to support 1,600 students. A small donation of $25 will help support one child. On Aug. 19, volunteers plan to gather to assemble the school supplies at Dell Jewish Community Center.
Covid Mask Makers Seeks Assistance
Do you know how to sew? Covid Mask Makers needs people to help sew face masks, and they've got patterns and instructions, including a helpful video, on their website. If you're all thumbs in that regard, you can help by donating supplies or picking up and delivering finished masks. Sign up for the newsletter to get more details, and feel free to get going on the mask-making anytime.
ADRN Coronavirus Challenge
Austin Disaster Relief Network has put out a call for what they've dubbed the Coronavirus Challenge, urging Austinites to check their supply of several items that health care providers need during this emergency, such as masks, gloves, antibacterial soap, and the like. See the full list online, and if you have spare items to donate, drop them off all week at HOPE Family Thrift or one of the other locations on the list. See an explanatory video with ADRN Executive Director Daniel Geraci here and get all the details here.
Help Feed the Animals at Pioneer Farms
Moondog, Henry, Big Red, and their friends need your help. They're all part of Pioneer Farms' four-legged team of 13 horses, donkeys, and longhorns, who, along with 50 chickens, help tell the story of 19th-century Texas at Pioneer Farms. A donation of $10 gets them 60 pounds of hay, $15 buys 50 pounds of food, and $25 keeps the animals fed for almost three days. Check out their website to learn more about the animals you're keeping fed, and you'll get a shout-out in the newsletter when you donate.