There are many local charities and organizations that rely heavily on community support to not only survive, but thrive. This is especially true during the holiday season, when residents are reminded to give back to those in need. You may think monetary donations are your only option when it comes to helping out, but there are a plethora of other ways to lend a hand without spending any money at all. After all, sometimes it’s the smallest gestures that make the biggest difference. If you’d like to give back to your community but don’t know where or how to start, we’ve got you covered.
1. Kids In Need Of Defense
Kids In Need Of Defense works to provide pro bono legal aid to immigrant children and refugees who have been separated from their parents and are heading to U.S. immigration court in southeast Texas. This kind of help is necessary to allow children to easily navigate the U.S. immigration system — something that most aren’t able to do on their own. If you or someone you know can speak a second language, consider volunteering your time as an interpreter.
2. Sleep In Heavenly Peace
Today, there are far too many children who don’t have a bed — or even a pillow — to sleep on at night. Sleep In Heavenly Peace seeks to change that, by working with dedicated volunteers to help build and assemble beds for children and families in need. Earlier this year, the Empire team volunteered with Sleep In Heavenly Peace to support their continued efforts in Houston. If you’d like to give back this holiday season, consider donating a few hours of your time so that every child is that much closer to receiving a good quality, long-lasting bed.
3. Austin Free Fridge Project
If you’ve walked around the streets of Austin, you may have spotted a brightly-painted fridge on a street corner, or in front of a local business. These are commonly referred to as “community fridges” — a unique food distribution initiative that has become more popular in recent years. The Austin Free Fridge Project is the first of its kind in the city, providing a network of fridges stocked with food for anyone that needs them. This holiday season, try going through your own pantries and seeing if there’s anything you’d like to donate.
4. San Antonio Food Bank
The San Antonio Food Bank’s slogan, “fighting hunger, feeding hope”, is exactly what they do best. Founded in 1980, this organization has quickly grown to serve over 120,000 individuals per week. Not only do they provide produce to those in need, but they offer other resources to try and get struggling individuals back on their feet. If you’d like to donate some extra food that’s sitting around in your pantry but don’t know where to start, check out the San Antonio Food Bank’s list of their twelve most-wanted items.
5. HomeAid Houston
HomeAid Houston works with local homeless shelters to create housing projects in areas that lack necessary support. Their unique approach allows them to work directly with individual communities to identify their exact concerns, and then allocate their time and resources to where they’re most needed. Consider checking out their website to learn exactly how you can help out.
Most people have more stuff laying around in their homes than they will ever get to use, so it’s good to make a habit of regularly auditing your closets or pantries to see what can be given a new life and what can be donated. While this may seem like an overwhelming task to undertake, we promise it isn’t as daunting as you think. Check out our guide so that you can become a master at decluttering.