Top 3 Austin Volunteer Opportunities for Your Company This Holiday Season

Austin Volunteer Opportunities Meals on WheelsBusiness employees who volunteer together build a sense of mutual loyalty and camaraderie that cannot be duplicated by other team building exercises.Volunteering in your local community is not only good for the heart, but good for your company as well. Your customers and prospects want to know that your business cares about more than just the bottom line.

To help bolster your company culture and the relationship you have with the community around you, we’ve compiled a list of the top three Austin volunteer opportunities for your company and employees to take advantage of this holiday season.

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Austin and Central Texas (RMHC-Austin)

Ronal McDonald House Charities of AustinWhy your company should consider volunteering here:

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Austin provides lodging and support services to families of critically ill and injured children. For only $10 each night, RMHC provides a private room, a full kitchen and pre-cooked meals, a complimentary laundry room and much more to each family in its care.

Look through any of these local stories and you’ll quickly understand why we highly recommend RMHC-Austin as one of the best Austin volunteer opportunities for your company.

Specific volunteer opportunities for this holiday season:

Lights of Love 5K Support Team: The Ronald McDonald House needs help handing out runner’s packets and completing tasks for their annual Lights of Love 5K fundraiser. Volunteer dates are December 3-4th and 6-7th, with extra help need on December 3-4th.

Lights of Love 5K Run: Rally your employees and form a team for the Lights of Love 5K Run on December 7, 2012. Santa Claus, Ronald McDonald, hot chocolate and festive lights will set the scene for an enjoyable evening that matters. Find all the information you need right here.

Donate an item on the RMHC-Austin Wish List: Austin’s Ronald McDonald House always has a Wish List posted online. Right now, two of their most needed items are liquid laundry detergents that are “free and clear” of perfumes and dyes, and individual grab-and-go type snacks like prepackaged crackers, cookies, and Goldfish. See the full list here.

Interesting fact about this charity:

Located right next door to Dell Children’s Medical Center, the Austin Ronald McDonald House is the first LEED Platinum certified Ronald McDonald House in the world.

How to volunteer:

Contact Volunteer Coordinator Jane Rose by email at jrose@rmhc-austin.org.

Location:

1315 Barbara Jordan Boulevard, Austin, TX 78723

Capital Area Food Bank of Texas (CAFB)

Capital Area Food BankWhy your company should consider volunteering here:

Every week, the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas provides emergency food supplies to an average of 48,000 people. Of those, almost 20,000 are children. Our Austin neighbors are in need, and your employees can make a difference by working together.

Take a look or listen to any of these stories from the Capital Area Food Bank to understand why we’ve included the CAFB in our list of Austin volunteer opportunities for this holiday season.

Specific volunteer opportunities for this holiday season:

Whole Foods and Cap Metro’s Stuff the Bus: On December 14-16th, there will be a Cap Metro bus parked outside the Whole Foods on Lamar Blvd. between 5th and 6th. Your company can go on a shopping spree together before “stuffing the bus” with food. The goal is to fill the bus over the course of one weekend. All donations will be taken to the Capital Area Food Bank.

Downtown Holiday Stroll: Join the CAFB on December 1st for a holiday sing-along and stroll through downtown Austin. The caroling will end in front of the Capitol Building, where the Christmas tree will be lit. Everyone is encouraged to bring canned food donations for the Food Bank.

Souper Bowl of Caring Food Drive: Last year, the CAFB received 275 tons of food from their annual Souper Bowl of Caring Food Drive. But they didn’t have enough volunteers to sort and deliver the donations as quickly as they could have with more manpower. Though this Austin volunteer opportunity is after the holidays, it’s still a significant chance for your business to join together and help the community.

Interesting fact about this charity:

In fiscal year 2010-2011, the Capital Area Food Bank gave more than 24 million pounds of food to people in need, in Austin and the surrounding area.

How to volunteer:

To schedule a time for your company to volunteer, contact Charlotte Hall at chall@austinfoodbank.org or call (512) 684-2140.

Location:

8201 S. Congress Ave. Austin, TX 78745

Meals on Wheels and More (MOWAM)

Meals on Wheels and More Austin VolunteeringWhy your company should consider volunteering here:

What started out as eight volunteers serving 29 seniors has expanded to over 7,000 volunteers making a difference for the elderly and homebound in Austin. Meals on Wheels and More has numerous programs that are designed to keep clients healthy and living independently with dignity.

Specific volunteer opportunities for this holiday season:

Be a Santa to a Senior: MOWAM is partnering with Home Instead and Walgreen’s to fulfill client’s Christmas wishes. They are putting boxes out at Walgreen’s to collect items and are looking for volunteers to check on the boxes 1-2 times weekly. When the bins are full, volunteers are asked to bring the donated gifts to MOWAM. If your company is interested in this program, contact Sandy Munoz at smunoz@mealsonwheelsandmore.org.

Substitute Drivers: MOWAM needs substitute drivers to deliver meals to clients on November 19-21st and December 19-21st and 26-28th. On these dates, volunteer orientation is held at 10:15 AM at MOWAM. To sign up, contact Denise Jimenez at djimenez@mealsonwheelsandmore.org.

Christmas Day Delivery: On December 25th, volunteer drivers are needed to deliver 50 meals to 500 targeted clients. Over half the routes still need to be filled. Orientation begins at 10:15 AM at MOWAM and distribution starts at 10:45 AM. To sign up, contact Denise Jimenez at djimenez@mealsonwheelsandmore.org.

Interesting fact about this charity:

In 2011, MOWAM prepared 967,495 meals.

How to volunteer:

MOWAM has a staggering number of volunteer opportunities. Find out what the latest needs are on their website.

Location:

3227 East 5th Street, Austin, TX 78702

There is great need for volunteers across our city, and these Austin volunteer opportunities just scratch the surface! When employees volunteer together and make an impact locally, they’re appreciated by the community. Just as importantly, a healthy workplace environment is created because each person knows they can make a difference, regardless of their positional authority within the company.

If you know about any Austin volunteer opportunities we left out, please let us know in the comments section. We look forward to hearing about how your company decides to connect with the community. Happy holidays!

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Eric and Brittany Highland are the founders of The Austinot, a hyperlocal blog that covers the people, places and vibe that make Austin unique. When they’re not writing in their pajamas, they’re usually searching for the best burger in Austin. Next search: the best gym in Austin.

Photos courtesy of MealsonWheelsandMore, rmhcaustin, Capital Area Food Bank

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About Nathan Smith

Nathan Smith

About Nathan K Smith is an Austin commercial real estate advisor that specializes in helping companies and business owners find the best deals on Austin office, retail, and other commercial real estate properties. Connect with Nathan on Google+ View all posts by Nathan Smith →

Comments

  1. Thank you for featuring our work! These are all fantastic non-profits in Austin that are active throughout the year. I really hope that local companies will get involved.

    • Nathan Smith says:

      Hi Brittany, You are very welcome. Thank you for posting! I hope this will encourage others to give their time over the holidays!

  2. Hi Nathan, Eric and Brittany,

    WOW! Thank you for including us in your short list of great places to volunteer. We are honored to be in great company with MOWAM and CAFB. The support we receive from community volunteers and donors enables us to sever more than 1400 families when their children are hospitalized in Austin. Your support is greatly appreciated

    Jan Gunter
    RMHC Austin

    • Nathan Smith says:

      Hi Jan,

      You are welcome! We look forward to the holidays and hope others will learn more about how to get involved with volunteer opportunities at the Ronald McDonald House!