The Central Texas Food Bank is seeing huge numbers of families coming to pantries needing food. With unemployment on the rise and school districts restricting food distribution to students only, families are looking for ways to stretch their limited dollars. This past weekend, it handed out more than 1,500 boxes of free food in three hours, which hundreds of cars lined up to receive.

The food bank still needs volunteers – maybe now more than ever – and has made provisions to keep them safe. Read here about how you can volunteer at the food bank or a food pantry.

Dress for Success Austin is looking for volunteers to provide image consulting over the phone or video chat. The client will send photos of three outfits they’re considering for an interview, and you help them talk through the outfits, coach them on interview skills, and build their confidence. With more women seeking employment, Dress for Success will be adding more clients in the near future. Help them keep up with the demand.
Family Eldercare’s “Lifetime Connection Without Walls” program offers a flexible way to help seniors stay connected and reduce feelings of isolation but pairing them with volunteers who call them for conversation and games. Commitment can range from weekly to once a month, and it’s easy to do from home.
Drive-A-Senior organizations are also looking Phone Buddies and Senior Buddies who can call and check in on seniors, see if they need any groceries, medicine, or other items, and shop for them. You arrange to have them pay you for the items, of course.
The shelter-in-place ordinance forced the cancellation of all group blood drives, yet We Are Blood still needs to maintain the supply for over 40 hospitals and clinics in our area. On an average day, We Are Blood needs to receive at least 200 blood donations in order to maintain an adequate blood supply. It’s important to note also that there are restrictions as to who can show up to donate blood, mostly so that you’re not a coronavirus danger to the people around you. They’re asking blood donors to schedule an appointment to give blood at one of three donation centers or at the new appointment-only blood drives located across the region.

LifeWorks is on a mission to end youth homeless in Austin. Every year, LifeWorks provides a pathway to self-sufficiency for more than 4,000 youth and families, many of whom are facing life’s most difficult challenges, including homelessness, trauma, and abuse.

You can make a donation on their website or by texting GIFT to 41444. Read about LifeWorks’ programs and other ways you can help here.