It’s spring in Texas, full of unpredictable weather, allergy-inducing pollen and a city of Austin measure on the ballot to ban public camping. In the midst of this, at Austin Humanists at Work, we continue to diligently serve our community of unsheltered neighbors both with weekly EAT Initiative bag distribution in North Austin, and with our monthly necessities bags given out in Central Austin. Our next giveaway is April 25, 2021, starting at 8:30 a.m. and we’re looking for a few volunteers to help pass out bags of items throughout our downtown distribution area. Contact us at info@austinhumaniststatwork.org to RSVP and get the waiver ahead of time if you’re new.

We are currently still relying on the generosity of our community to fill 200 bags for distribution each month. The easiest way to support this outreach is to send items from our Amazon wishlist or coordinate dropoff with a volunteer (these are primarily in Central-North Austin). We are beyond grateful for our gracious donors who have helped us continue serving our unhoused neighbors including with monetary and in-kind donations! We’re also thankful for the volunteers who’ve stuffed bags and wheeled the wagons around the city. We’ve found Buy Nothing Groups, Nextdoor, thrift stores, garage sales and even our own closets are great places to find many of the items needed. Here’s a list of what we need this month.

  • shelf-stable food: fruit snacks, snack bars, crackers, bottled water
  • tissues & toilet paper
  • hand sanitizer
  • insect repellent
  • lip balm
  • sunscreen
  • unscented baby wipes
  • clothing: belts, sports bras, men’s boxers, women’s underwear
  • tents
  • tarps
  • sleeping bags
  • sleeping mats
  • reuseable HEB bags
  • condoms
  • face masks

This year once again we’re excited to participate in Secular Week of Action — an opportunity for all Americans to participate in civic life through volunteerism — April 30 – May 9, 2021. Organized by Foundation Beyond Belief, an organization that’s been a tremendous supporter of ATXHAW, we have a few ways to get involved! Earlier in March to kickoff Secular Week of Action, our board president Virginia Miller and board director Emilie Lutostanski joined a live webinar on how organizations can get involved in solving issues of food insecurity and homelessness. It’s worth a watch to see how secular, atheist and humanist organizations around the country are organizing for good — building food and needs pantries, holding giveaways, and more. Plus you can learn more about the impact Austin Humanists at Work has had in the last year.

Secular Week of Action and Austin Humanists at Work — How you can get involved

  • Join us for the EAT Initiative food bag distribution Sunday, May 2 | Meet at 8:30 a.m.
    • Meet in North Austin to pickup bags of food and deliver them to camps and check-in with residents (90 minutes)
  • Join us for the EAT Initiative food bag distribution Sunday, May 9 | Meet at 8:30 a.m.
    • Meet in North Austin to pickup bags of food and deliver them to camps and check-in with residents (90 minutes)
  • Join ATXHAW sub-club — Gettin’ Knotty Guild
    • Tuesday, May 4th, 6-9 p.m. @ Pour House on Jollyville Road. Email info@austinhumanistsatwork.org to RSVP.
  • ATXHAW Secular Week of Action remote Plog-a-thon
    • Spend at least one hour during Secular Week of Action, April 30-May 9, picking up litter around or beautifying your community. Post about it to raise awareness.
Remember Giveaways? We are bringing back baskets and tables in May with masks and social distance.

After a year of skipped and altered giveaways because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are excited to share that the ATXHAW board has approved a plan to move forward in May with a near-normal giveaway and an end to bagged items. After careful consideration, we will be once again setting up tables with baskets of many of our staple items – a selection of hygiene and toiletry items, socks underwear, and more. Why? First, distributing pre-packed bags of items leads to significant waste through unused and un-needed items. Second, tables with baskets allow our clients to choose exactly what they want and need with dignity and select an adequate quantity. Third, a sizable share of regular volunteers have shared that they are fully vaccinated, lowering the overall risk of transmission to the clients we serve. All volunteers will remain socially distanced with masks, and use hand sanitizer offered at the tables as well. Needless to say, we are REALLY looking forward to returning to what we’ve found to be the most effective and efficient means of distributing a short-term supply of basic living items to those in need in Central Austin. Please reach out if you’re a volunteer age 16+ and ready to come back to our monthly giveaways on the fourth Sunday of each month. We are looking forward to seeing you all again and building back up our regular team of volunteers!

What we need for the April 25 ATXHAW Giveaway

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