Volunteering in Austin Makes an Excellent Start to the New Year
published on January 12, 2012
The holiday season tends to spike the number of volunteers at a non-profit organization the same way there’s always a coworker who spikes the punch at an office party. Volunteer numbers can taper off with the Christmas cheer, though, and the need for volunteers remains high year-round. Committing a few hours a month to a charitable organization can be a tone-setting standard to start the new year, making it a year infused with selflessness and compassion. “Being a good neighbor is about more than making sure your leaves don’t blow into other lawns,” said Austin Realtor Brian Talley. “We have to consider everyone in the city our neighbor in order to ensure the community stays such a wonderful place to live; this means helping out wherever we can.”
Austin has no shortage of charitable organizations, and there’s probably a non-profit registered for any cause that tugs at your heart strings. Below is a small sampling of a few Austin non-profits that welcome volunteers:
Big Brothers Big Sisters
This youth development organization pairs adults one-on-one with kids to spend quality time shooting hoops, swinging at the play ground, playing chess, or sharing a pizza. Having a mentor can dramatically change an underprivileged child’s life for the better, and being a Big Brother or Sister will ensure you know exactly how big of an impact your volunteer hours are making. Anyone can qualify to be a Big, and with Littles located throughout the city, it doesn’t matter if you live in Seven Oaks or Legend Oaks, the organization can pair you with a child who is easy to meet for a game of Connect Four anytime.
Boys & Girls Clubs
The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Austin Area is a youth development organization that runs high impact programming in Clubs throughout Austin. Their main focus areas are Academic Success, Good Character & Citizenship, and Healthy Lifestyles. Volunteers can help tutor kids in math, play a video game with a 4th grader, shoot pool with a teenager, coach a sports team, or help serve snacks and meals to a room full of hungry kids.
Manos De Cristo
Manos de Cristo empowers low-income individuals with a loving hand of assistance and welcomes all regardless of age, gender, race, or religious preference. Inspired by the Christian ideals of service and compassion, Manos promotes dignity and self-reliance by providing essential oral care, furthering educational development, and meeting basic needs with food and clothing. Volunteers can help teach computer skills, greet youth, distribute food and clothes, assist the administrative team, and many more possibilities. Manos also has a dental clinic that seeks volunteer dentists and hygienists, and assistants.
Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity has a big dream: see everyone live in a decent place. Volunteers can help make that vision become reality through assisting at build sites in both construction and gardening.
Caritas provides a service continuum for those experiencing poverty that begins with a safety net and links them to resources to achieve self-sufficiency. Services provided include housing assistance, meal service, financial education, and employment placement. Volunteers can help serve in the soup kitchen, donate professional services, assist the homeless, and help with large special events that benefit the organization.
Any Baby Can
Any Baby Can is a nonprofit that improves the lives of children by strengthening them and their families through education, therapy, and family support services. Each year, Any Baby Can brings help and hope to more than 6,000 of the youngest, sickest, and poorest children in our community and their families. Volunteers can come individually or in groups, and can assist in tutoring children and families and collecting supplies for needy families.
Keep Austin Beautiful
Keep Austin Beautiful is an environmental organization that aims to keep Austin litter free and glowing. By ensuring the city is clean, we can also ensure the environment is safe, toxin free, and a healthy landscape for ourselves and future Austinites. Tree-heavy communities like Belterra and Eanes ISD can appreciate the beauty of the natural environment of their neighborhoods, and Keep Austin Beautiful insures that beauty can be preserved in shared spaces, too. Volunteers can aid in organized clean-ups of parks and lakes that take place throughout the year.
Austin can host so many charitable organizations because it is filled with philanthropic-minded citizens. If you’re interested in moving to Austin and experiencing what being an Austin neighbor feels like, start an Austin home search today.
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