Civics 101

Thursday 18

PROJECT CONNECT VIRTUAL OPEN HOUSE The virtual open house is designed to welcome a new round of feedback on Austin's high-capacity transit plan. Online. Free. projectconnect.com.

YMCA EARLY LEARNING READINESS PROGRAM A free community program for qualifying low-income families that focuses on preparing children ages 2-4 for school, while providing their caregivers with the tools to facilitate their child’s development. Classes are offered twice a week in English and Spanish and last one hour. English: Mondays & Wednesdays, 9am; Tuesdays & Thursdays, 10:30am. Spanish: Mondays & Wednesdays, 10:30am; Tuesdays & Thursdays, 9am. Online. Free. austinymca.org.

AUSTIN EMPTY BOWL PROJECT The 25th annual event is largely virtual, meaning two weeks to make an impact for those experiencing hunger. Go online to shop the store, bid on the silent auction, or make a donation to benefit Central Texas Food Bank and Meals on Wheels Central Texas. Those who buy bowls can pick them up at a drive-through Nov. 21 at CTFB. Through Nov. 20 Online; pick up bowls at Central Texas Food Bank, 6500 Metropolis. austinemptybowl.org.

COMMUNITY HEALTH FORUM Join an online forum Thursday or tune in to KAZI 88.7FM Friday to give feedback on the Austin/Travis County Community Health Plan. Or chip in your two cents online at SpeakUpAustin.org. Thu., Nov. 18, 6:30pm; Fri., Nov. 19, 6pm Online. speakupaustin.org/communityhealthplan.

DONATE BLOOD, GET A FREE SCARF As temps drop, We Are Blood has your back (or neck). Donate blood or platelets to get a limited-edition scarf while supplies last. Nov. 18-27, 8am-6pm We Are Blood donor centers. Free. weareblood.org.

SIDES AND PIES Canned/packaged food and pies to help prepare a Thanksgiving meal at home will be distributed via drive-through. Turkeys are not included. 5pm. Martin Park Kickball Field, 1621 Nash Hernandez Senior Rd.. Free. austintexas.gov.

Friday 19

PROJECT CONNECT VIRTUAL OPEN HOUSE The virtual open house is designed to welcome a new round of feedback on Austin's high-capacity transit plan. Online. Free. projectconnect.com.

AUSTIN EMPTY BOWL PROJECT The 25th annual event is largely virtual, meaning two weeks to make an impact for those experiencing hunger. Go online to shop the store, bid on the silent auction, or make a donation to benefit Central Texas Food Bank and Meals on Wheels Central Texas. Those who buy bowls can pick them up at a drive-through Nov. 21 at CTFB. Through Nov. 20 Online; pick up bowls at Central Texas Food Bank, 6500 Metropolis. austinemptybowl.org.

DONATE BLOOD, GET A FREE SCARF As temps drop, We Are Blood has your back (or neck). Donate blood or platelets to get a limited-edition scarf while supplies last. Nov. 18-27, 8am-6pm We Are Blood donor centers. Free. weareblood.org.

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED THANKSGIVING BASKET GIVEAWAY Monetary and food donations are needed to help Mission Accomplished provide meal baskets for Austinites experiencing homelessness. Volunteer opportunities are also available for basket assembly and distribution. Basket assembly: Fri., Nov. 19; basket distribution: Sun., Nov. 1 Citywide. Free. tbg@mission-accomplished.org, mission-accomplished.org/thanksgiving-basket-giveaway.

COMMUNITY HEALTH FORUM Join an online forum Thursday or tune in to KAZI 88.7FM Friday to give feedback on the Austin/Travis County Community Health Plan. Or chip in your two cents online at SpeakUpAustin.org. Thu., Nov. 18, 6:30pm; Fri., Nov. 19, 6pm Online. speakupaustin.org/communityhealthplan.

ZILKER PARK VISION PLAN POP-UP: DISTRICT 3 Speak with the project team behind the restoration and future development of Austin’s beloved park and learn more about potential design scenarios. 5-8pm. South Austin Recreation Center, 1100 Cumberland. austintexas.gov/zilkervision.

Saturday 20

PROJECT CONNECT VIRTUAL OPEN HOUSE The virtual open house is designed to welcome a new round of feedback on Austin's high-capacity transit plan. Online. Free. projectconnect.com.

AUSTIN EMPTY BOWL PROJECT The 25th annual event is largely virtual, meaning two weeks to make an impact for those experiencing hunger. Go online to shop the store, bid on the silent auction, or make a donation to benefit Central Texas Food Bank and Meals on Wheels Central Texas. Those who buy bowls can pick them up at a drive-through Nov. 21 at CTFB. Through Nov. 20 Online; pick up bowls at Central Texas Food Bank, 6500 Metropolis. austinemptybowl.org.

DONATE BLOOD, GET A FREE SCARF As temps drop, We Are Blood has your back (or neck). Donate blood or platelets to get a limited-edition scarf while supplies last. Nov. 18-27, 8am-6pm We Are Blood donor centers. Free. weareblood.org.

HANDS FOR HOPE El Buen Samaritano serves families meal kits containing a frozen turkey and sides. Sign up to volunteer for meal distribution. Sat., Nov. 20 El Buen Samaritano, 7000 Woodhue, 512/543-7903. Free. elbuen.org/handsforhope.

A.B. CANTU/PAN AMERICAN RECREATION CENTER THANKSGIVING DINNER Meals will be distributed via a drive-through; there will be no sit-down dining area. 10am-2pm. Oswaldo "A.B." Cantu Pan-American Recreation Center, 2100 E. Third, 512/476-9193. Free. austintexas.gov.

THANKSGIVING MEAL BOXES Meal boxes will be distributed to the first 100 people to arrive on a first come, first-served basis. 11am-2pm. Bethany Christian Church, 3507 E. 12th. Free. bccdisciplesofchrist.com.

ST. JOHN COMMUNITY HEALTH FAIR & FESTIVAL Bring the whole family for a fest full of resources, info, and fun, including vaccines, community orgs, a carnival, vendors, live music, and even a petting zoo! Noon-4pm. St. John Tabernacle, 7501 Blessing. Free. stjohnbaptistassociation.org.

REDISTRICTING FORUM Join Common Ground for Texans for a panel about the redistricting process in Texas with experts who were involved: Katya Ehresman with Common Cause Texas, Genevieve Van Cleve with All On The Line, Gary Bledsoe with NAACP Texas, Alice Yi with League of Women Voters Austin Area, and Martha Cotera with Latina Policy Coalition. 2-4pm. Online. cg4tx.org.

TRANSGENDER DAY OF REMEMBRANCE Join Transgender Education Network of Texas and their community partners for a virtual ceremony to honor the people killed by gender identity-based violence and celebrate their lives. Mental health support will be offered in Zoom breakout rooms. 6pm. Online. transtexas.org.

Sunday 21

DONATE BLOOD, GET A FREE SCARF As temps drop, We Are Blood has your back (or neck). Donate blood or platelets to get a limited-edition scarf while supplies last. Nov. 18-27, 8am-6pm We Are Blood donor centers. Free. weareblood.org.

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED THANKSGIVING BASKET GIVEAWAY Monetary and food donations are needed to help Mission Accomplished provide meal baskets for Austinites experiencing homelessness. Volunteer opportunities are also available for basket assembly and distribution. Basket assembly: Fri., Nov. 19; basket distribution: Sun., Nov. 1 Citywide. Free. tbg@mission-accomplished.org, mission-accomplished.org/thanksgiving-basket-giveaway.

PROJECT CONNECT VIRTUAL OPEN HOUSE The virtual open house is designed to welcome a new round of feedback on Austin's high-capacity transit plan. Online. Free. projectconnect.com.

MISSION POSSIBLE AUSTIN GREAT THANKSGIVING BANQUET This is MPA’s annual Thanksgiving meal for our neighbors experiencing homelessness. Volunteers are needed throughout various segments of the day (multiple shifts available). 9am-2:30pm. I-35 & Seventh St.. Free. mpaustin.org/programs/community/great-thanksgiving-banquet/.

BETHANY UNITED METHODIST CHURCH THANKSGIVING MEALS DELIVERY At least 150 families are needed to help deliver meals to one or two families receiving meals. Volunteers are also needed to help load groceries into cars on the day of the event. 1-3pm. Bethany United Methodist Church, 10010 Anderson Mill. Free. bethany-umc.org/thanksgiving-meals.

RED AID BENEFIT Enjoy live music and shop the thrift pop-up to raise funds for Red Aid, an org providing support to political prisoners and their families. 6pm. Sahara Lounge, 1413 Webberville Rd., 512/927-0700. Free; donations accepted. dropthecharges2020.org.

Monday 22

PROJECT CONNECT VIRTUAL OPEN HOUSE The virtual open house is designed to welcome a new round of feedback on Austin's high-capacity transit plan. Online. Free. projectconnect.com.

YMCA EARLY LEARNING READINESS PROGRAM A free community program for qualifying low-income families that focuses on preparing children ages 2-4 for school, while providing their caregivers with the tools to facilitate their child’s development. Classes are offered twice a week in English and Spanish and last one hour. English: Mondays & Wednesdays, 9am; Tuesdays & Thursdays, 10:30am. Spanish: Mondays & Wednesdays, 10:30am; Tuesdays & Thursdays, 9am. Online. Free. austinymca.org.

DONATE BLOOD, GET A FREE SCARF As temps drop, We Are Blood has your back (or neck). Donate blood or platelets to get a limited-edition scarf while supplies last. Nov. 18-27, 8am-6pm We Are Blood donor centers. Free. weareblood.org.

MOBILE LOAVES AND FISHES PRE-THANKSGIVING MEAL Mobile Loaves and Fishes hosts an annual meal the Monday before Thanksgiving for Austinites experiencing homelessness. Due to COVID-19 safety, the meal will be distributed in to-go containers to be consumed offsite. Haircuts and flu shots are also offered during the event. 4pm. First Baptist Church of Austin, 901 Trinity, 512/328-7299. Free. mlf.org.

Tuesday 23

YMCA EARLY LEARNING READINESS PROGRAM A free community program for qualifying low-income families that focuses on preparing children ages 2-4 for school, while providing their caregivers with the tools to facilitate their child’s development. Classes are offered twice a week in English and Spanish and last one hour. English: Mondays & Wednesdays, 9am; Tuesdays & Thursdays, 10:30am. Spanish: Mondays & Wednesdays, 10:30am; Tuesdays & Thursdays, 9am. Online. Free. austinymca.org.

DONATE BLOOD, GET A FREE SCARF As temps drop, We Are Blood has your back (or neck). Donate blood or platelets to get a limited-edition scarf while supplies last. Nov. 18-27, 8am-6pm We Are Blood donor centers. Free. weareblood.org.

PROJECT CONNECT VIRTUAL OPEN HOUSE The virtual open house is designed to welcome a new round of feedback on Austin's high-capacity transit plan. Online. Free. projectconnect.com.

Wednesday 24

PROJECT CONNECT VIRTUAL OPEN HOUSE The virtual open house is designed to welcome a new round of feedback on Austin's high-capacity transit plan. Online. Free. projectconnect.com.

YMCA EARLY LEARNING READINESS PROGRAM A free community program for qualifying low-income families that focuses on preparing children ages 2-4 for school, while providing their caregivers with the tools to facilitate their child’s development. Classes are offered twice a week in English and Spanish and last one hour. English: Mondays & Wednesdays, 9am; Tuesdays & Thursdays, 10:30am. Spanish: Mondays & Wednesdays, 10:30am; Tuesdays & Thursdays, 9am. Online. Free. austinymca.org.

DONATE BLOOD, GET A FREE SCARF As temps drop, We Are Blood has your back (or neck). Donate blood or platelets to get a limited-edition scarf while supplies last. Nov. 18-27, 8am-6pm We Are Blood donor centers. Free. weareblood.org.

OPERATION TURKEY Register online to help cook, package, and deliver food to those in need. The goal is to prepare 45,000 meals this year, so every hand helps. (Expected delivery is between 10am-2pm on Thanksgiving Day). Meal prep: Wed., Nov. 24; meal delivery: Thu., Nov. 25 Citywide. Free. operationturkey.com/locations/austin.

#BLACKLIVESMATTER SURVIVOR PEER SUPPORT GROUP Led by the SAFE Alliance, one of Austin's nonprofits working to end sexual violence, abuse, and harassment. Email for details. Last Wednesdays, 5:30-7pm Online. DHarris@safeaustin.org, www.safeaustin.org.

Thursday 25

PROJECT CONNECT VIRTUAL OPEN HOUSE The virtual open house is designed to welcome a new round of feedback on Austin's high-capacity transit plan. Online. Free. projectconnect.com.

YMCA EARLY LEARNING READINESS PROGRAM A free community program for qualifying low-income families that focuses on preparing children ages 2-4 for school, while providing their caregivers with the tools to facilitate their child’s development. Classes are offered twice a week in English and Spanish and last one hour. English: Mondays & Wednesdays, 9am; Tuesdays & Thursdays, 10:30am. Spanish: Mondays & Wednesdays, 10:30am; Tuesdays & Thursdays, 9am. Online. Free. austinymca.org.

DONATE BLOOD, GET A FREE SCARF As temps drop, We Are Blood has your back (or neck). Donate blood or platelets to get a limited-edition scarf while supplies last. Nov. 18-27, 8am-6pm We Are Blood donor centers. Free. weareblood.org.

OPERATION TURKEY Register online to help cook, package, and deliver food to those in need. The goal is to prepare 45,000 meals this year, so every hand helps. (Expected delivery is between 10am-2pm on Thanksgiving Day). Meal prep: Wed., Nov. 24; meal delivery: Thu., Nov. 25 Citywide. Free. operationturkey.com/locations/austin.

MT. OLIVE BAPTIST CHURCH THANKSGIVING MEAL To-go meals are available to the community on a walk-in basis. Volunteer opportunities for adults and older youth are available. Food donations welcome. 8:30am-12:30pm. Mt. Olive Baptist Church, 1800 E. 11th. Free. mtolivebcaustin.org.

ANNIE’S WAY THANKSGIVING DINNER Sign up online (or text 512/801-1629) to register for a meal to pick up via drive-through. Due to COVID-19, limited volunteer opportunities are available for facility setup, cooking, serving food, and cleanup. 9:30am-1pm. St. William Catholic Church, 620 Round Rock West Dr., Round Rock. Free. fb.com/justbecauseministryofhope.

PRINCIPE DE PAZ THANKSGIVING MEAL Due to COVID-19, there will not be a sit-down dining area. Meals will be distributed in to-go containers via drive-through and walk-up. 11am-1pm. Principe de Paz, 1204 Payton Gin. Free. pdpaustin.org.

SUNRISE COMMUNITY CHURCH THANKSGIVING MEAL Meals will be distributed outside. 11am-1pm. Sunrise Community Church, 4430 Menchaca. Free. sunriseaustin.org.

Ongoing

DRIVE-THROUGH VACCINE CLINIC VOLUNTEERS If you're interested in volunteering at Travis County's drive-through vaccine clinic at COTA, sign up here. Clinic open: Fridays-Sundays Travis County Expo Center, 7311 Decker. centraltxvaccs.org.

PALM DISTRICT PLANNING SURVEY Austin’s Palm District is located on the eastern edge of Downtown between I-35 and Trinity St., running from Rainey St. to 15th St. The city's Housing and Planning Department seeks public input on the future of the area as it develops the final Palm District Small Area Plan. Explore the area, take a survey, and ask questions on the city’s project website. Ongoing Online. palmdistrictplanning@austintexas.gov, www.speakupaustin.org/palmdistrict.

AUSTIN STRATEGIC MOBILITY PLAN SURVEY Austin Transportation Department seeks community members’ feedback on three new policy changes to the Austin Strategic Mobility Plan, the city’s first comprehensive, multimodal transportation plan. Online. austintexas.gov/asmp.

AUSTIN LGBT CHAMBER HOLIDAY TOY DRIVE Austin’s queer business chamber hosts its annual drive for new (and unwrapped) toys, clothing, and shoes for local children. Donations will go to children and families enrolled in LifeWorks programs and CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) of Travis County programs. See here for a list of drop-off locations and suggested donations. Through Dec. 10 Multiple locations. austinlgbtchamber.com/toydrive.

YWCA GREATER AUSTIN WARMLINE Call 512/548-9922 for support amidst the isolation of the COVID-19 pandemic. Mondays-Thursdays, 9am-8pm; Fridays, 9-5pm; Saturdays, noon-4pm Citywide. ywcaaustin.org.

ARC OF THE CAPITAL AREA WILDFLOWER PROGRAM In collaboration with Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, The Arc offers classes for adults with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities focusing on social-emotional growth, vocational studies, life skills, active recreation, and Texas nature. Tuesdays & Thursdays, 9am-2pm Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, 4801 La Crosse. $150-300 per month. arcaustin.org/wildflower.

LEGALLINE Call 512/472-8303 for free legal advice concerning family law, criminal matters, traffic problems, consumer issues, landlord/tenant issues, and employment law. Attorneys who are bilingual (English/Spanish) are also available. First Tuesdays, 5:30-7:30pm 512/472-8303. Free. referrals@austinlrs.org, austinlrs.org.

WIC MOBILE UNIT Resources and info about Austin Public Health’s Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) supplemental nutrition program for qualifying pregnant women, new mothers, and young children. Second Saturdays, 9am-1pm 3000 Jones Rd. Free. austintexas.gov/wic.

PRIMARY ELECTION DAY WORKER Over 600 spots need to be filled at polling locations for the March 1 primaries; this is a paid position through Travis County. traviscountydemocrats.org.

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