It was a hot and sticky Sunday morning during our giveaway, and 4 volunteers ventured out with 200 bags of food, bottled water, toiletry essentials, insect repellent, menstrual pads, and masks. We altered our giveaway format to put safety first for not only our volunteers but for those we serve in Central Austin.
Just three weeks prior we announced our giveaway plans. Since the start of the stay at home orders, promotions for physical distancing, and recommendations to wear masks, things for those experiencing homelessness and limited means have become exponentially harder. Services were closed to the public, organizations and churches stopped coming into town. Our organization has been watching what others are doing over the months prior and is shifting our focus on food for our clients. Through the generosity of our communities we received quite a few wonderful donations that really made our giveaway happen. Thank you to the following: Janice Smith, Sherrie Haynie, Buy Nothing Project Communities, Barbara Terry, Star Summerfield, Jone’s Family, Debra Serrins, Lutostanski Family, Stephanie Paramore, Mallory Grau, and some anonymous donors.
The day before our giveaway a small group of volunteers put together 200 bags of food, personal hygiene essentials, bottled water, first aid, and insect repellent. All the bags were loaded in our trailer and we passed them out at two locations in town.
Our first location was our usual giveaway location under the bridge of I-35 and 7th Street. We were able to give out half our bags and see a few familiar faces down there. Our second location was at a camp near Cesar Chavez and San Marcos. Both locations had porta-potties and non-potable water for hand washing since the last time our organization was down there.
The remaining bags were split of between our four, eight given around Ben White Blvd, six handed out on Rundberg Lane, and 10 were given out under the bridge at McNeil and 183 feeder.