I bet we are not the only ones that will be doing this, but Austin Humanists at Work is excitedly waving adieu to 2020 with much gusto. Looking at the year in review, we will try to fondly see it in a positive light. Because it was such a challenging year, our organization had the opportunity to serve the community in new ways. Meeting new partners in service within the Austin community was a wonderful thing. Our volunteers have reached a large area of people in need who we now call our friends. Distributing the EAT bags has not only provided much needed food access to many, but our organization is bridging the gap to help our friends get much needed services. Entering 2021 will be a sweet relief to new hope. New opportunities and a continued shift to be an organization that not only assists those who are experiencing homelessness, but working with many area agencies and organizations to help end homelessness for good. Believe us when we say, we would love not to be needed as an organization. One day, we look forward to ending this chapter of humanism to enter a new time where everyone has equal access to shelter, food, and health. So, until that day, we have a lot of work to do.
This next giveaway will bring many donations of winter clothing, sleeping bags, and blankets which helps those living outside during wet and cold conditions. Below is the latest list of safety measures and information most needed for our upcoming giveaway:
- Our volunteers will be masked , and will wash/sanitize hands during all aspects of our prep and giveaway.
- Everyone who volunteers at this time must be 16 years of age or older.
- We are asking all volunteers to sign a liability waiver before you volunteers with any aspect of our organization.
- All items will be bagged prior to the event.
- Our teams of volunteers will be kept to small groups who will physically distance themselves for safety. We are only in need of 6-8 volunteers to distribute bags, and no more than 6-8 volunteers for our Winter Warmth Drive tables.
- Our focus is to continue to offer our staple hygiene/ personal care items, non-perishable foods, and other select items to folks in Central Austin, doing so with no strings attached.
- Our volunteers make two stops: our usual location at the under-bridge parking lot along I35 Frontage between 6-8th streets across from APD headquarters and a camp at the Terazza Branch, Austin Public Library.
- Donations we seek to acquire are pre-packaged, single serving sizes of the following (CLICK HERE to go to our Amazon Food Wish List): Slim Jims, beef jerky, canned pull tab Vienna sausages, chicken and tuna packs, chicken and tuna salad snack packs, meal shakes, trail mix, nuts, peanut butter packs, fruit snacks, packs of crackers, and snack bars/ granola bars. Please, all must be non-perishable, cans need to be pull-tab accessible, ready to eat, prepackaged and single serving. No at home portioning from larger supply. Thank you for understanding.
- An essential supply of travel size toiletries will also be in the bags. This list includes, depending on supply/ donations (CLICK HERE to go to our Amazon Main Wish List): soap, shampoo, conditioner, washcloth, toothpaste, toothbrush, deodorant, razors, insect repellent, sun screen, toilet paper, men’s socks and menstrual kits. (We are stocked up on some things but not other, visit our WHAT WE NEED page to see what we currently are in dire need for donation)
- We have revamped our main Donate page which gives you categorized cheat sheets of all we do and do not take for donation. We also have a What we need? page which lets everyone know in real time which staple items we are in most need.
- We also have a small supply of fabric masks for those who need them. If you would like to donate masks, we will happily keep handing them out. Thank you!
- Now until February Giveaway of 2021- Winter Warmth Drive: ATXHAW is asking for specific clothing items in clean new or gently used condition to keep members of our community experiencing homelessness warm: sweaters, jackets/ coats/ (water-resistant), hoodies, pullovers, jeans/ sweat ants, thermal underwear, socks, hats, mittens, gloves, scarves
- For distribution at our December 27th Giveaway- Just Because Bags: <— Clicking on the link will tell you more, “From time to time we run a “Just Because Bags” drive to give a little extra back to the community to show we’re thinking of them. “Just Because Bags” are a great activity to do with children, scouting troops, or as a community activity….”
Our next giveaway is December 27th and welcomes a limited group of volunteers, 16+ years of age and older, to help distribute personal care bags, and warm winter items in Central Austin. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Our Gettin’ Knotty knitting guild is canceled for the month of December. This group knits, crochets, sews masks, washcloths, hats and scarves which are distributed at our giveaways. Join their Facebook group for more information or email Virginia Miller.
ATXHAW is supporting the efforts of Eat Apart Together (EAT), an initiative of Austin Public Health Department, to provide bags of shelf stable food to our unsheltered neighbors in North Austin. Our area is the I-35 corridor North of 183. Each bag will contain 15 pounds of food. For three Sundays a month at 8:30 a.m., then around 10:30- 11am after our 4th Sunday giveaways. Currently we have been operating with a team of 7 people, and 14 stops handing out 100+ bags, and 100+ gallons of water every Sunday. If you have a vehicle that can transport 10-20 bags, and gallons jugs of water, we would love your help. Please email Virginia Miller for more information.
Austin Humanists at Work thanks everyone for their continued support of our organization. Now, more than ever, it is important to come together to help each other through this hard time and much uncertainty. Wishing everyone health, love, and peace.