How can anyone think of winter when it is still 100 degrees outside? For us, it is never too soon to start collecting items for winter. Austin Humanists at Work holds a Winter Warmth Drive every October through February to serve Austinites facing homelessness and limited means. For its annual Winter Warmth Drive, ATXHAW is asking for specific clothing items in clean condition to keep our neighbors, who currently live outside, stay warm.
Our wishlist includes:
- rain ponchos
- thermal underwear
- sweat pants
We also will be providing sleeping bags, blankets, tents, bedrolls, sleeping mats to help keep folks dry and warm through whatever Texas weather brings. We are not accepting any dressy clothing or shoes not fit for lots of walking; thank you for your consideration.
“We not only will be serving those in Central Austin this winter, but helping clients in the north by distributing EAT encampment bags to each week,” said ATXHAW board president Virginia Miller. “We depend on your contributions but also your word-of-mouth to collect as many items as we can to get a wide assortment of sizes.”
Our Gettin’ Knotty Guild is a crafting group that knits, crochets, sews items for the giveaways is making a call-out for handmade (knitted, crocheted, sewn, or cutting/ tying crafts) hats, scarves, and blankets. They hold virtual Zoom meetings once or twice a month. For more information, e-mail Virginia: firstname.lastname@example.org.
NOAA predicts this winter in Texas could be warmer and dryer, but our organization wants to make sure we are prepared no matter the weather. Many people that ATXHAW serves sleep overnight in their vehicles, under bridges, or on hard pavement. Through its monthly giveaways, ATXHAW distributes warm clothing as well as basic living supplies, such as shampoo, toothbrushes, feminine hygiene kits, and toilet paper. ATXHAW also collaborates with other nonprofits, such as the ad hoc cold weather shelter at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, to shelter people during cold weather.
The Austin ECHO point in time count noted 2,506 individuals in need of permanent housing this year. ATXHAW serves anyone we meet during giveaways and typically serves 150-200 people per month. Due to COVID-19, and storm evacuations, the need may increase around Austin and we hope to help those in need during this difficult time. Visit our Amazon wish list to see the other items like thermal blankets that are always in high demand over the winter.
Our two current distributions to unsheltered people are distinct. Austin Humanists at Work is still doing our monthly, 4th Sunday, modified giveaways with our pre-essembled bags in Central Austin, which start in the underbridge parking lot across from APD Headquarters. These bags have also included food items we normally get through donation for our pre-COVID-19 giveaways. The newer opportunity is a part of the Eat Apart Together initiative; an ATXHAW distribution team drops off encampment bags which contain shelf-stable food to various locations along the I-35 corridor north of highway 183.
To learn how to donate, when our next Central Austin giveaway is, or how to volunteer for either events, go to our NEXT GIVEAWAY page.
ABOUT AUSTIN HUMANISTS AT WORK
Austin Humanists at Work is a 501(c)3 nonprofit. Our mission is to uphold the value of humanism by assisting people in need in the Austin community.
We are an inclusive bunch of everyday folks looking to give back to the community with no strings attached. Regardless of what we do or don’t believe, we all hold humanistic values and choose to give back to the community—not because we want to advance a specific cause, not because we are a part of any movement—but because it’s the right thing to do. Simply put, we believe human hands solve human problems.