In September, our donations took a major downturn.

With only 2,010 items total donated to Austin Humanists at Work ahead of the Sept. 17 giveaway, we were unable to fully meet the needs of the 175 clients who came through our line on Sunday.

The item total was the lowest since May 2016 — not the type of records we hope to set as we increase the number of individuals served in downtown Austin.

The decrease in September’s number of donations was no doubt in part because resources were focused on assisting the victims of Hurricane Harvey, many of whom relocated to various shelters in the Austin area. Unfortunately, the services and donations offered to victims from the storm were not available to the persistent homeless population already living on the streets in Austin.

As the state continues to recover from the weather-related disaster and we head into the holiday season, ATXHAW is hopeful our donations will return to a sustainable level, or even surpass our record-breaking December 2016 giveaway.

But this can’t happen on its own. Here are 5 essential ways to get involved and help ensure those in need in downtown Austin have the most we can offer in the months to come.

1. Donate! Review our page of most-needed items for the upcoming giveaway. Donations can be sent in from our Amazon wishlist, dropped off at PakMail on Metric Blvd. or picked up by a volunteer. Email to request information or a pickup.

2. Share! Use Nextdoor, neighborhood Facebook pages, Twitter, LinkedIn and social media to get the word out about our organization and mission. Like and share our Facebook posts with your personal network. This is a great way to get involved and spread the word, even for individuals who cannot make monetary contributions.

3. Shop! Discounts are everywhere for those with a bargain shopping bug. Many items we distribute at giveaways, such as tennis shoes, backpacks, notepads and toothbrushes, are available at great prices from garage sales or brand new on sale or clearance. Think of it as retail therapy for a good cause.

4. Clothe! Specifically, help others stay warm this winter through our Winter Warmth Drive 2017. From October to January, ATXHAW collects jackets, coats and sweaters to be distributed at giveaways. Consider cleaning out the closet to contribute to this drive. Speaking of helping folks stay warm …

5. Knit! From hats to washcloths to scarves, our Gettin’ Knotty Guild makes sure clients have something handmade and unique when they come through the line. With the weather changing to the colder months, warm knit items will be in high demand and we want to prepared.

With your help, we can ensure every person we interact with in the giveaway line each month gets the essential items they need from ATXHAW. Our next giveaway is Sunday, Oct. 15. We thank you for your support!

Our mission is to uphold the values of humanism by assisting people in need in the Austin community. 

ATXHAW is recovering from a major donation deficit in September: Here are 5 ways you can help

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